City — politics — heritage: Cracow after 1945
Cracow comprises the biggest urban ensemble of the historic value that exists on the territory of Poland. After the end of WWII the city, which had not been destroyed, faced the critical changes determined by fast industrialization and urbanization. The new political and economic situation had a huge impact on the future of the entire metropolis. The changes left a strong mark on the cultural heritage of the city in which the historical suburbs were left without any public interest among the political decision makers. Despite the political problems already during the 1950s, Cracow saw the first investments in monument restoration, which were run using a different methodology that was most common in other cities, e.g. in reconstructed Warsaw. The inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage List as early as 1978 put the spotlight on the city, where already under the conditions of the previous political regime the new and modern mechanisms were implemented for the financing and management of the restoration and conservation works. The real change occurred because of the political changes of the 1989 when the city saw its opening towards the rest of the world, the huge impact of international tourism as well as many new investments in the historical center. Within the last 25 years Cracow witnessed many widely designed restoration and conservation works. At the same time the city suffered from a deep crisis in urban planning, which occurred in Poland at the beginning of the 21st century.