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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Accompanying Persons Program

Accompanying Persons Program

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Accompanying Persons are welcome to attend:

  • Welcome Reception on Sunday
  • Conference Outing
  • Conference Dinner

For details of these activities see General Program

No other formal activities will be scheduled, however, we have arranged the following optional tours with our Tour Operator during and after the meeting.

We have been informed by our Tour Operator that they stopped to accept new excursion requests.

The conference will organize on Thursday a complimentary excursion for registered accompanying persons to the Underground Market Square Museum and Old Jewish District. This excursion will explore a different part of town than the conference excursion "The Old Krakow".

A representative of another Travel Office offering excursions will be present at the Registration Desk. More details will be available on Monday, September 11 2017. Please contact a Conference Desk if interested.

Traces of Jewish Culture "Kazimierz"

Sunday, September 10, 2017

10:00 (10:00 a.m.) - 4 hours

For many centuries Jews played their part in creating the history and culture of the city of Kroke, as Kraków is known in Yiddish. Before World War II they made up as much as 25% of the city's population. A tour around Kazimierz - the former Jewish district, preserved in excellent condition until today - will introduce you to the world of their rich culture, customs and history. It was there that the renowned philosopher Mojżesz Isserles (called Remuh) taught, Helena Rubinstein was born, who is considered to have been one of the richest women in the world, and the esteemed director, actor and screenwriter Roman Polański spent his childhood. The old Jewish district, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, became an even more recognizable landmark in Europe following the release of the famous "Schindler's List".

You will be introduced to the history of the extermination of the Jews of Kraków, which is the background for the events described in the Spielberg's film, as you will be wandering the streets of the former ghetto. That is the place where Jews were locked up during World War II, and they were sent to death camps from there. A display in the Schindler's Factory Museum will complement the information, which is the story of Kraków and the fate of the Polish and Jewish population during World War II, but also about the Germans - occupiers who arrived here on September 6, 1939 and brutally stopped a centuries-old history of Polish-Jewish Kraków. The story of World War II mingles with everyday life there, and private life with the tragedy that affected the whole world.

Underground Market Square

Monday, September 11, 2017

10:00 (10:00 a.m.) - 2 hours

Underneath Cracow Main Square is an odyssey into past, brought to life centuries later by a group of archeologists. It is a sanctuary full of construction and architecture relics, stone paths with grooves worn by the wheels of wagons transporting goods in the times of the King Władysław Łokietek, the oldest brick constructions of trading buildings, ornaments, coins, and many other objects lost of left on purpose by the ones visiting this place ages ago. At the same time it is a place where the magic atmosphere is created by modern technology offering a visitor a different perspective on the confrontation with history and monuments.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9:00 (9:00 a.m.) - 6 hours

The tour of the Museum, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, comprises both parts of the former concentration camp - Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau - and a documentary film presenting the first moments after the camp was liberated. The Auschwitz camp has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. It was established by the Nazis in 1940 in the suburbs of the city of Auschwitz, which was integrated into the Third Reich. The direct reason for the establishment of the camp was the growing number of mass arrests of Poles and overcrowding of the existing prisons. Initially, it was supposed to be another concentration camp created by the Nazis from the beginning of the 1930s. That was the function of Auschwitz for the entire period of its existence, even when, from 1942, it became one of the centres for "Endlösung der Judenfrage" ("the final solution of the Jewish Question") at the same time - the Nazi plan to murder the Jews living in the territories occupied by the Third Reich.

The Auschwitz camp, until the end of its existence, was first and foremost a place of extermination. Even if from 1943 mortality was reduced in other camps to conserve manpower, in Auschwitz, to which continually new shipments were coming - mostly of Jews - to supply the camp labor, human life never meant too much. Historians estimate that in less than five years of the camp's existence 1 - 1.5 million people were killed in Auschwitz, most of them - approximately 1 - 1.35 million - were Jews. The second most numerous group were Poles (approx. 70 000 - 75 000), the third - Gypsies (approx. 20 000). Approximately 15 000 Soviet prisoners of war and 10 000 - 15 000 prisoners of other nationalities (including Czechs, Belarusians, Yugoslavs, French, Germans and Austrians) were also killed in the camp.

Due to the role that Auschwitz played in the implementation of the Nazi extermination plans, it has become a world-famous symbol of the Nazi genocide, in particular the destruction of the Jews. In the Auschwitz I camp the Nazis established the first camp for men and women; it was the place where the first experiments of killing using Zyklon B took place, the first mass transports of Jews were being murdered, the first criminal experiments on prisoners were conducted, and the majority of executions by shooting were performed. It was there, in Block 11, where the central detention camp for prisoners from all parts of the camp was housed, as well as the main camp commandant office and most other SS offices. The camp authorities supervised further expansion of the camp from there.

Dunajec River Gorge Rafting

Thursday, September 14, 2017

8:00 (8:00 a.m.) - 8 hours

This, undoubtedly one of the Poland's prime tourist attractions, gives you a chance to admire some of the most amazing scenery in the Polish highlands. Usually referred to as "the raft trip down the Dunajec river", this is in fact a rather leisurely drift in large wooden punts. Highly experienced guides make sure you have a smooth ride and keep you informed about the sights you see and the history of the trips, which goes back to 1840s. The voyage down the winding Dunajec offers breathtaking views of mighty limestone cliffs plunging into the water as well as stunning native vegetation both protected by the second oldest international national park in the world. Also, while sailing down the river you can spot some rare bird species including the black stork. Another attraction of the tour is a visit to Niedzica Castle which was originally built in the 14th century by the Hungarians to protect an important trade through the Dunajec valley. Nowadays the castle towers over a large water reservoir and an impressive dam built in mid 90s. While visiting the castle you can admire the delightful view over the artificial lake and learn an amazing story of Inca refugees that found shelter there. Our trip begins at Niedzica Castle, then continues to the wharf in Sromowce Niżne and ends 15 km later in Szczawnica. The voyage lasts two to three hours, depending on the water level of the river. It is advisable to bring rainwear or a sun hat depending on the weather.

Kraków Art Museum Tour

Friday, September 15, 2017

10:00 (10:00 a.m.) - 5 hours

The tour includes visiting three museums presenting Polish Art.

The National Museum in Kraków - Gallery of 20th century Polish Art - offers the most comprehensive museum presentation of this type in Poland. The area of over three thousand square meters presents selected examples of Polish art of 20th and 21st century. Everyone will find something for themselves, regardless of their artistic preferences and interests.

Sukiennice - one of the largest permanent exhibitions of 19th century Polish painting and sculpture in Poland. It offers a historic and substantive context of the works of art gathered in the National Museum in Kraków, though it does not pretend to present the entirety of artistic phenomena occurring between mid-eighteenth and late nineteenth century.

The Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace houses two permanent galleries - "The Art of Old Poland. The 12th - 18th century" and "the Orthodox Art of the Old Polish Republic". The basements house a study collection of architectural sculpture named "Kraków within Your Reach".

Zakopane and the Tatras Mountains

Saturday, September 16, 2017

8:00 (8:00 a.m.) - 9 hours

In the 19th century Zakopane was a sleepy village inhabited by the Polish highlanders who - living for years in isolation - created their own unique culture. The special atmosphere and natural beauty of the place was discovered by Tytus Chałubiński. In a short time, artists and crème de la crème of the society declared Zakopane their favorite place in Poland, where they rested, created works of art and had affairs… Currently, the town is visited by thousands of tourists who, desiring to get to know its tradition, often complain about the "cheesiness" of 21st century Zakopane. That is why we decided to show the face of "the winter capital of Poland" and its surrounding area which still reflects the charm of the past and the beauty of nature.


  • 13 January 2018

    Sad news
  • 22 September 2017

    Photos taken during the conference can be found here.

    A movie from the Banquet is still to come.
  • 15 September 2017

    20-25 October 2019
    Kyoto, Japan