This unit was developed by Małgorzata Kmak   Bibliography   Didactic Comments  

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Didactic Commentary: Krakow - Renaissance - Multicultural Kraków

1. The subject: “Krakow - Renaissance -Multicultural Kraków” consists of the basic:

- information text, 

- illustrations,

- source materials with questions

- and bibliography.

The questions refer to all the above mentioned materials and (though not always) the information text. The questions marked with an asterisk are more difficult and require creative thinking.

2. Implementation order of materials:

First, the general information from the text “Kraków – the metropolis of many nations” will be introduced. The source materials about the Tartar minority complement the general information. Additional information may be acquired through the analysis of the presented illustrations. While reading the information text (together or individually), students should take careful notice of the glossary included below it.

The second text entitled “Following the traces of the Jewish culture”  complements the already presented information. In this particular part, the possible consequences of Kraków multiculturalism are emphasized. The basic text, as well as the illustrations, focus solely on the Jewish culture.

As homework, students can choose one of the following topics:

- Discover the mystery of the Remuh Synagogue.

- With what funds did Decjusz build his villa?

- Who was Moses, whose grave in Kraków is visited by Jewish pilgrims from all over the world?

Students can answer the question in the form of a bigger project, for example, a written text, photography/slide show or a short play.

A trip through the Kraków suburbs and visiting St. Mary’s Basilica, the Decjusz Villa and Kazimierz should summarize the subject “Multicultural Kraków.”

3. Level of difficulty:

The questions about the source materials differ as far as their difficulty level is concerned. There is no particular order of their application. The first questions help develop basic recall skills, the further ones foster analytical thinking, outlining and connecting facts from the history of the state with the historical events taking place in Kraków, and develop students’ writing skills.

4. Educational objectives:

After reviewing the presented materials, students should be able to:

- explain and differentiate between the following terms: ethnic minority and national minority,

- understand the terms such as: Polin, Torah, Bożnica (synagogue),

- characterize the multiculturalism of 16th century Kraków and the role the individual minorities played in its social, economic, political and cultural life,

- describe the social status of the minorities living in 16th century Kraków,

- outline the possibilities of ennoblement and advancement of the ethnic and national minorities,

- assess the Jagiellonian policy towards the newcomers,

- understand the fact that the migrants did not represent “threatening” competition to Cracovians, but worked together with them to develop the city’s prosperity,

- give modern examples of the influences of the 16th century culture,

- discover the richness of the Jewish tradition,

- develop tolerance and respect for the minority responsible for the economic prosperity of Kraków.

Students could also benefit from the additional knowledge about the occupations of the 16th century Jewry (libraries, printing shops, restaurants, etc.), or, for example, the Festival of Jewish Culture (one of the biggest and most important events of this kind in the world, held annually since 1988 and created by the most prominent representatives of the various areas of Jewish culture and music). Such information support the development of critical thinking and analytical skills.

5. More information can be found at:,3697055,title,Mniejszosci-narodowe-i-etniczne-w-Polsce-tabela,index.html?ticaid=66fa3,,,,,