Communist Cracow

Feel the air of Pjongjang mixed with the continental Renaissance-like architecture and the anecdotes you would expect from the Monty Python troupe. Discover the utopian communist district of Nowa Huta: a world filled with the absurdities of centrally-planned economy. Get in a stylish commie car, travel to where "Vladimir Lenin Steelworks" was opened in 1954 and visit the iconic communist "perfect city", designed by outstanding Polish architects to serve the needs of proletariat behind the Iron Curtain.

Tour Overview

Take the craziest tour Krakow has to offer: the trip to Nowa Huta district. This journey into the place built from scratch as a monument to the Soviet-style architecture will make you feel like a citizen of a commie country. You will take a ride in an original wonder of communist automotive industry. Your guide will try to convince you that your capitalist ideals are all wrong. With their innocent propaganda brainwashing involved, you will explore the origins of Nowa Huta, the lifestyle of its residents, its surroundings, dwellings, eateries and design of the communist era. Not a minute of this "Goodbye-Lenin-type" experience will be a wasted one.

Ready to get on the board of a Nysa van, comrades? It is time to leave the beaten track and realise Krakow is not only about the historical Old Town, enchanting Wawel Castle or the wondrous hipsterity of Kazimierz. Nowa Huta (the New Steel Mill), the easternomost district of Krakow and once a separate town of labour, is waiting there to let you discover the real face of communist reality. Not as rigid as presented in the western media, not as light as shown in the commie propaganda chronicles, but definitely proving that life under the communist regime required a lot of creativity from its citizens. Upon the hotel pickup, you will take a 2,5-hour tour to Nowa Huta. On your way, you will be exposed to an audio commentary that will introduce you to the history of your destination.  The guide to follow will be a real expert on Nowa Huta, pulling a lot of anecdotes from their sleeves as the tour goes on.

During the tour, you will visit the core of deftly designed Nowa Huta town. The Central square is the heart of this coherently planned area, representing the Socialism-realist trend in architecture at its best. As you walk around, you will notice the importance of "human proportions" to the layout of alleys, streets and buildings of Nowa Huta. This is what makes the internationally recognised architectural monument so distinct, as mixing the inspirations with Renaissance and modernism under the facade of Soviet-style architecture. You will be shown where the monument of Lenin once stood, with the statue itself having been subject to a number of attempts to blow it up before 1989. Your guide will let you see the Steelwork Mill's headquarters, a Soviet tank (which is a landmark of the district now) and the famous Lord's Arc church – a unique monument to European sacral architecture. An invitation to the real-life interior of a commie flat will be particularly interesting for you if you are a design freak. As if this part of the tour was still not enough for you to peep into the life of a common Nowa Huta dweller, you will also be taken to the iconic Stylowa restaurant, where the spirit of communism is still omnipresent. This fascinating trip into the past is something  that makes most participants realise that communism was in fact one of the most absurd-ridden systems ever implemented.

Nowa Huta was originally built as centered around the Vladimir Lenin Steelworks. This industrial suburban town was built between 1949 and 1951, only to be incorporated into the municipal area of Krakow. Since the very beginning, Nowa Huta served a couple of ideological purposes. It was to provide a model example of a perfectly-designed town whose manual labourer residents were to constitute a community where no problems existed. Funnily enough, the district that would regularly be used as a good showcase of the success of communism, soon became one of the cradles of Solidarity movement that led to the collapse of the Iron Curtain. In 1976, it became a setting of famous "Man of Marble" anti-systemic movie by Oscar-awarded Andrzej Wajda.

Ready to raise a glass to the labour leaders of Nowa Huta, comrade? Contact us to have a driver and table in Stylowa booked before there is the shortage of pickles!
 

Tour Details

  • It is possible for you to take the communism-related tour to Nowa Huta regardless of your place of stay in Poland - simply, inform us of where you are, what the date of your intended visit is and we will do the rest!
  • The price covers: transport (pre-arranged hotel pick-up and drop-off), the price for the tour, an English-speaking guide.

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