For three days, we all had the opportunity to get a taste of life in the 16th-century Krakow and explore the life of the students of the time, as well as ordinary residents of the city. We learned about the university and the street, students and ordinary people, as well as dancers, journeymen, musicians, falconers and musketeers. The children earned got their patents, the older participants could admire the prowess of knights and warriors, and everybody involved went on an unforgettable and… a hot trip to Krakow from 600 years ago. These were the highlights of this year’s St John’s Fair, which traditionally took place at the foot of Wawel Hill, on Czerwieński Boulevard.
This year’s edition, which was planned to take place on 14–16 June 2019 – was devoted to the city of Krakow and its residents in the 16th century – we learned how they worked, how they played and how they disturbed the peace. The unruly fairgoers were taken care of by the executioner and inquisitor, and the peace was kept by patrols of the municipal and city guards, who were ready to present their combat skills at any time. And they had a lot of work to do!
Craftsmen enthralled visitors with demonstrations in their workshops, and the students, always hungry for some knowledge, went to colleges and lecture halls. The Fair also featured flag bearer, halberdier and musketeer shows, and the visitors also enjoyed fire theatre, commedia dell’ arte shows and Renaissance fashion shows. The city of Krakow was once again amazed by the colourful, loud and spectacular parade that reached the Main Market Square.
A special “Parent Zone” was also prepared at the St John’s Fair, which enjoyed great popularity. Parents were be able to relax with their children in a specially arranged space intended for feeding, encouraging children to play with wooden toys, stay for a while and forget about the hustle and bustle of the fair and hide from the sweltering heat.
The originators and coordinators of St John’s Fair are Róża and Mariusz Wollny.
The writer, historian and originator of the Fair has recorded several stories about Renaissance Krakow especially for you. It is worth giving them a try and returning to the 16th-century Krakow once again!
The St John’s Fair is organised by the City of Krakow and the Krakow Festival Office.