World Youth Day Kraków 2016

The news that Kraków will be the organizer of the next World Youth Day on 26-31 July 2016 was welcomed by the residents of the city with obvious joy and excitement. In fact, it would be difficult to find a place more worthy of the privilege of playing host to millions of young people from all over the world.

To what does Kraków owe the honour of being chosen for the location of the World Youth Day 2016?


  • Kraków is one of the cradles of Christianity in Poland; the official bishopric was established here as soon as in the year 1000 and shortly afterwards the walls of the first cathedral church were erected;
  • a bishop of Kraków, Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanów, was canonized in 1253 and for several hundred years now has been the patron saint of the Wawel Cathedral;
  • another bishop of the medieval Kraków – Wincenty Kadłubek – was beatified by the Holy See;
  • throughout the centuries, Kraków was the seat of Polish kings, so the city hosted countless important historic events and its bishops always actively participated in the life of the Church in Poland and worldwide;
  • in1964 Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Karol Wojtyła the Archbishop of Kraków;
  • in 1978 Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, already a cardinal, was elected Pope of the Catholic Church and took the name of John Paul II;
  • during his long pontificate, John Paul II visited Kraków repeatedly, always emphasizing his unique ties with the city;
  • the current Archbishop of Kraków (appointed in 2005), Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, had for 27 years been the personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, and before that – his chaplain for 13 years (at the time when Karol Wojtyła was in charge of the Kraków diocese);
  • it was the cardinal from Kraków, Pope John Paul II, who in 1985, during a meeting with young people in Rome, initiated the biggest holiday of the young Catholics from all over the world – an event that for almost 30 years now has attracted crowds to the cities of Buenos Aires, Santiago de Compostela, Częstochowa, Denver, Manila, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Cologne, Sydney, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, and that now is to come to Kraków;
  • all of the aforementioned reasons aside, Kraków, with its Old Town and the Kazimierz district that already in 1978 were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a place which just cannot not be visited. And this is a statement made frequently not only by Kraków residents, much in love with their hometown, but also by many tourists who come to this royal city (9 million each year).
Friday, 18th October 2019
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