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Professor Jacek Purchla receives a Bronze Cracoviae Merenti Medal

prof. Jacek Majchrowski, prof. Jacek Purchla

On the 5th of October a ceremony took place, during which professor Jacek Purchla was awarded a Bronze Cracoviae Merenti Medal for his outstanding services to the city of Krakow.

Professor is the founder and long-standing director (1991–2018) of the International Cultural Centre. His extensive knowledge and involvement made it possible to build the brand of the ICC as a professional institution expert in cultural heritage, Central and Eastern European issues. It is viewed as such by intellectuals, academics, and people responsible for the preservation of cultural heritage both in Poland and abroad.

It is thanks to professor that Krakow became a cosmopolitan city, open to diverse cultural influences. In a very inventive way he combines two perspectives – the local and the global one, being active in both the Society of Lovers of Krakow's History and Monuments and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Professor Jacek Purchla (b. 1954) graduated in economy in 1976. Seven years later – in 1983 – he did a PhD in humanities. He wrote a thesis about the achievements of Jan Zawiejski – an architect from Krakow. In 1991 he did a postdoctoral degree, delivering a thesis entitled “Non-economic factors that influenced the development of Krakow during the period of Galician autonomy”. In 1997 he was appointed a professor of humanities. Prof. Purchla is an academic teacher at the Cracow University of Economics and Jagiellonian University. He holds a title of Doctor of honoris causa of the National University of Lviv Polytechnic.


Since 1989 prof. Purchla was active on the municipal level. Between 1990 and 1991 he was the vice-president of Krakow. In 1989–1990 he was the chairman of the Krakow City Status Commitee initiated by the Krakow “Solidarność” Social Committee. He was the initiator of the new administrative division of Krakow. In 1990 – just before the first municipal elections in Poland – he co-created municipal educational centre (called “wszechnica”), which promoted the idea of local government as a basis of democratic state under the rule of law. It is thanks to his involvement that the consulates of the Republic of Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany were opened in Krakow. He also made Krakow a member of the League of European Cities, Europa Nostra and the European Heritage Committee at the Council of Europe. Since 2015 he has been the president of the Society of Lovers of Krakow's History and Monuments. He is an author of a number of books about Krakow, such as “Krakow in Central Europe”, “Krakow's architectural history in outline”, and “How modern Krakow came into being”. He is a chairman of the editorial board of the “Encyclopaedia of Krakow”.


For years professor has been involved in different initiatives both in Poland and abroad. He is an acitive member of the Polish Academy of Learning. In 2000-2016 he chaired the Council for the Protection of Monuments under the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. In 2015–2020 he was the chairman of the Polish Committee for UNESCO, and  in 2016-2017 the Chairman of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. In 2017, he chaired the deliberations during the 41st Session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow. He is a winner of many foreign decorations and awards.


Additional materials:

A collection 230 articles by prof. Jacek Purchla at the repository of the Jagiellonian Univeristy:



Selected books by prof. Jacek Purchla:

Photo: Bogusław Świerzowski
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