Kraków, the venue of the conference, has been a major center of learning and culture in this part of the world: the Jagiellonian, founded in 1364, is usually ranked first among Polish universities, and the same is true of the Pedagogical University in Poland’s quite extensive pedagogical universities category.
Poland’s second largest city has its own international airport connected with a direct train line to the city center (a ride of 17 minutes); most major airports of the world are a single connection away, and there are numerous direct cheap flights to many European cities; Kraków also boasts of a reliable public transportation system.
In terms of attraction to the conference tourist, Kraków is part of the “golden triad” of Central-Eastern Europe with Prague and Budapest. Its historical monuments include Poland’s most famous Royal Castle on Wawel Hill, a whole bevy of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque churches, several art museums, and the Old City itself; visitors usually enjoy the many outdoor cafés in Europe’s allegedly biggest medieval town square, dominated by the two towers of St Mary’s Church; from the taller of these, a live trumpeter plays a medieval call four times every hour on the hour (every day since 1836!). More adventurous travelers might want to catch a glimpse of Nowa Huta, the “workers’ paradise” constructed adjacent to the intellectual (and thus suspect) “old” Kraków in Stalinist times. Kraków’s environs include more castles; the Carpathian Mountains are not very far away, as is one of Europe’s oldest salt mines (all possible conference trip destinations). Early July is the perfect time for Kraków, with lots (but not too much) of sun that can be enjoyed in the city’s many green areas as well as in the nicely rolling countryside.
Kraków, a city that educated Copernicus and nurtured the young Joseph Conrad, a city strongly connected with three of Poland’s literary Nobel Prize winners (Sienkiewicz, Miłosz and Szymborska) and one Polish Pope; the city of Stanisław Lem and his science-fiction visions, of the theatrical genius of Kantor and the musical avant-garde of Penderecki, is ready to welcome the world’s Digital Humanists.
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