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Krakow Funeral – A Race Against Time

KRAKOW TOURS – Frantic preparations are ongoing in Krakow, where the funeral ceremony is to be held on Sunday for the late president Lech Kaczynski, and his wife Maria.

Details have been released about the funeral ceremony for Maria and Lech Kaczynski, who both tragically died along with 94 other people in last Saturday’s plane crash in Smolensk, reports Polish Radio correspondent John Beauchamp in Krakow.

After the mourning ceremony in Warsaw on Saturday, the coffins carrying the presidential couple will be flown to Krakow, where they will lie in state in St. Mary’s Basilica on Krakow’s Main Market Square at 10am. Around 1000 people are expected to be allowed to enter the church: however, the funeral procession, which will lead down from the Basilica to the Wawel Cathedral, will be a closed, private affair.

Details of the tomb have also been released: it is to be made out of alabaster, and will be placed in the vestibule of the crypt of one of Poland’s national heroes, Marshall Józef Piłsudski, but not next to Piłsudski himself.

The resting place is to measure 250 by 170 cm, and will be installed on a granite plinth.

Speaking to TVN24 news channel earlier on Thursday, Cardinal Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow, said that the crypt will also house a plaque with all the names of the people who died in the Smolensk plane crash. It is being speculated that in the future a plaque commemorating all the murdered at Katyn in 1940 will also be housed in the crypt under Wawel Cathedral.

Painting grass green

Krakow is preparing itself for a total lockdown, Sunday, as VIPs from around the world are expected to visit the city for this sombre occasion. Most of the Old Town is to be closed, streets cleaned and emptied of stalls and rubbish. Last-minute renovation works are also taking place with workers even painting the grass around Wawel a brighter colour of green.

Thousands of special agents are supposedly already in Krakow, with a US Secret Service plane landing at Krakow’s Balice airport yesterday. On Sunday the heart of Krakow will be cut off from the world as mobile phone networks will be switched off, and in the skies a NATO AWACS radar plane as well as fighter jets will be patrolling airspace around the city.

As the number of visitors is expected reach over 500,000, large screens will be spread throughout the city relaying the ceremony on the Market Square and Wawel Hill. One of these is to be placed on the Błonie meadow, a place usually connected with Papal masses and large outdoor gatherings.

courtesy Polskie Radio

April 16, 2010 - Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News, Recommendations, Tour Information | , , , , , , ,

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