The dream of Krakow has come true!

The Thursday night will be remembered as a historical moment. After more than twelve years of effort, seven years of design work and three years and a half of construction works, Krakow finally has its own prestigious Centre up to the highest world standards. The ICE Kraków Congress Centre is a perfect venue for the meetings of high culture and art with science and business.

The concert 2014. Here and Now was the inaugural event of the ICE Kraków. The first part of the inauguration consisted of official speeches and the presentation of a film documenting the creation of the Centre- Today Krakow has become enriched by a new, unique venue, thanks to which it will strengthen its position as a perfect location for large congresses and conference of international significance – said the Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski. The designers of the impressive facility: Krzysztof Ingarden and Jacek Ewý of the studio Ingarden & Ewý Architekci also appeared on the stage.

Photo Wojciech Wandzel,

The second part of the inaugural event consisted of the concert 2014. Here and Now , a work of by the famous composer Zbigniew Preisner, written specially for the event to the poems of the renowned and highly acclaimed poet Ewa Lipska. This very special vocal and instrumental performance offered a musical experience combined with timeless poetry and enhanced by Boris Kudlička’s splendid stage design, dreamlike visualisations and impressive play of light. For the first time we had the opportunity to admire the excellent acoustics of the Auditorium Hall able to accommodate 2 000 spectators. 2014. Here and Now perfectly matches the time in which we happen to live – marked with anxiety, tension, but also hope. The first part of the work was played by the symphonic orchestra under the baton of the outstanding conductor Adam Klocek who regularly cooperates with the composer. We heard the music for which we love the composer of the scores to Three Colours – the bright string instrumentation and the soothing sound of the piano, picturing a wide array of emotions. In the part entitled Soul Preisner took us on a journey into the depths of a human soul. Here the outstanding instrumentalists were on the lead, including: guitarist Mitch Dalton, cellist Philip Sheppard, percussionist Alasdair Malloy, multiinstrumentalist Józef Skrzek, pianist Konrad Mastyło, flutist Jacek Ostaszewski and Sławomir Berny playing the small percussion instruments. The thrid part (Utopia. Katharsis. Here and Now) for the symphonic orchestra, a six-men choir and all instrumentalists. It was conducted by the composer himself. The Australian vocalist and composer Lisa Gerrard was unfortunately sick and couldn’t come to Poland. Instead, the artist recorded her part in her studio in Melbourne, thanks to which we could listen to her fantastic vocal solo and experience her symbolic presence. Presiner’s metaphyiscal music trasnported use into a completely different dimension -- outside time and space, away of the everyday hustle and bustle, the threats and civilisation in general -- following Lipska’s words: Here and now. Let the wars forget about us. Let the fear goes away.

Photo Tomasz Wiech

After such a grand opening filled with music and poetry, the ICE Kraków is now ready to proudly begin its operation, to a great joy of all Krakow residents. 
















All you need to know about the ICE Kraków Congress Centre

  • The ICE Kraków’s design was selected in an international architecture competition. The functional layout and composition of the Congress Centre uses the natural scenic values of the site. Thanks to its undulating roof inclined towards the Vistula River, the form of the building was often compared to a melting ice block. The façade is finished with a mosaic from ceramic tiles in white and red, like the Polish flag, and in various shades of grey. The structure is closed by a glass façade with titanium and zinc elements. Thanks to the effect achieved by the designers (the architecture studio Ingarden & Ewý Architekci, in cooperation with Arata Isozaki & Associates), the Centre smoothly blends with the panorama of the Vistula boulevards and of the city of Krakow as a whole.
  • The ICE Kraków has a conference space of more than 36 000 m² – the largest Auditorium Hall can accommodate around 2000 people. The Centre’s guests are also offered the Theatre Hall (600 places), the Chamber Hall (400 places or 2x200 places) as well as a complex of conference rooms of a total floor area of 500 m², which can be separated into smaller spaces via a system of acoustic rooms.
  • In addition, the ICE Kraków has 32 multifunctional meeting rooms and a three-tier foyer overlooking Wawel Castle and offering a panoramic view of Krakow. This area is perfectly suited for the function of an exhibition space. A two-level underground car park can accommodate 347 cars.
  • ICE Kraków is the city’s new business flagship project, attracting, first of all, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry. In view of its potential use as a venue for almost every type of event at the ICE Kraków, the Centre enjoys huge interest. 60 days of the Congress Centre’s operation have been booked by the end of 2014, and out of 365 days of 2015, 175 have already been booked.
  • The ICE Kraków rooms are planned is planned in such a way that the events can be separated from each other. Thanks to this planning concept, as many as three simultaneous events may be hosted at the Centre, without the need for the guests to interact. This allows for a multiplication of the number of meetings to be held at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre throughout a year.
  • The Municipality of Krakow is the ICE Kraków investor, and the Krakow Festival Office the Centre’s operator. The project was implemented under the Malopolska Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013. The total project cost amounted to PLN 357 539 043.63 (co-financing amount: PLN 82 930 000.00). The work began in June 2007 and was completed in October 2014 (as scheduled).

Media contact

All journalists interested in the events organized in the ICE Kraków, please contact

Michał Zalewski
Media contact

Tel.: 0048 513 099 671 / 0048 12 354 23 20