Kraków the Host City: Stories Episode 3: Scientific Conferences in Kraków
Kraków was a popular commercial location on the map of Europe. However, it should also be remembered that Kraków was a famous scientific centre, with the thriving Jagiellonian University (current name), which opened in 1364.
Another important factor was the establishment of the Scientific Society in Krakow (later the Academy of Learning, and then the Polish Academy of Learning - PAU) and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków, which aimed not only to conduct scientific research, collect materials and publish, but also to organise scientific meetings. Organising scientific meetings is an important element still characteristic of all universities as it is of the Polish Academy of Learning, which coordinates the Krakow Scientific Conferences project.
One of the first conference events was the Congress of Balneologists organised on 13-15 May 1859 by the Balneological Commission of the Kraków Scientific Society, which was attended by spa doctors and owners of: Ojców, Swoszowice, Szczawnica, Iwonicz and Truskawiec. The next convention was held in 1914, when three days of debates were conducted in the Hall of the Medical Society at Radziwiłłowska 4. It is worth mentioning that starting in the 19th century a popular purpose for travelling to Kraków was to make use of the beneficial health resources of the Swoszowice Spa, and later of the Mateczny Spa and the balneological treatments they offered.
And on 18-21 May 1880, the Jan Długosz Historical Congress was prepared by the Historical Commission as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the chronicler’s death. The sessions, opened by Mikołaj Zyblikiewicz, Mayor of Kraków, were attended by representatives of the academics not only from Galicia, but also from other parts of Poland. The opening ceremony of the first edition of the conventions (subsequent editions were organised in 1900 and 1958) took place in the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice).
The next episode will offer an opportunity to learn when one of the first medical conferences was held!