The urban soundscapes of Kraków – Planty

As I spend half of my time in the beautiful city of Kraków (it should be spelled Crakoof for the foreigners [English-speaking, especially], not Cracow – as this form is derived from “Krakau” – the german name for the city) I decided to make something of a sound map of the town’s city centre. The famous Market Square would be perhaps the most appropriate location to start off the journey, but I noticed that, due to its vastness, it is a place where the sound is too diffused. Moving on, however, I decided to lend my era to the sounds of so-called Planty – a park area surrounding the historic Old Town (Stare Miasto). This location – with its dense mixture of traffic (cars and trams), pedestrians and surprisingly active birds (mostly rooks and jackdaws) – turned out to be an immersive and vibrant soundscape.

The first recording was made near the junction of Franciszkanska and Straszewskiego Streets, in front of a fancy looking fountain. The constant splash of water added a kind of drone to the changing events on the streets and up in the branches.


The next one is so far my favourite recording. Made in the vicinity of Collegium Novum, one of Jagiellonian University representative buildings, it is an urban soundscape completely taken over by the city birds. It is fascinating to witness how those animals adapted themselves to the city life, and how they’re making their presence felt…


Recorded 10.07.2012 in the afternoon hours.


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