City Culture Zone

The Metropolitan Culture Zone is dedicated to all Varsovians, tourists and World Youth Day participants. It will host many amazing events related to culture, sports and social consciousness; they will all centre around the themes of mercy and solidarity, with a special focus on those concepts as present in John Paul II's legacy and as visible throughout the history of Poland and Warsaw up 'til today.

The Centre for Thought of John Paul II, a Warsaw cultural institution, invites everyone to visit the Metropolitan Culture Zone on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street (from Jan Twardowski Square to the Castle Square) and near the Saxon Garden on July 20th-24th from 10 AM 'til 10 PM.

Hoover Square 

The Main Stage is the main attraction of the Metropolitan Culture Zone and its heart. Visitors can take in many fabulous events, listen to great music, have fun at concerts starring Polish legends, participate in enlightening discussions with politicians, sportspeople and artists on the topics of John Paul II’s legacy, the history of Warsaw, mercy and solidarity.


4.30 PM – Metropolitan Culture Zone inauguration

6 PM – appr. 6.45 PM.  Classical music concert, Stara Dziekanka, 56/60 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street

Romantic duets – arias and songs

Featuring the compositions of: Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Schubert, Michail Glinka, Piotr Czajkowski, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, Hugo Wolf,  Wolfgang Amadeusz Mozart. Joanna Kacperek – piano and Michał Przygoński – baritone.



12 PM – 2 PM – folk dance workshop

4 PM – 6 PM – The Value of Solidarity – meeting with those who remember the day of Solidarity



12 PM – 2 PM – folk dance workshop

4 PM – 6 PM – Can Mercy Change the World? – talk with people who made acts of mercy a part of their daily lives

8 PM –  Vavamuffin in concert



12 PM – 2 PM – folk dance workshop

3 PM – 4.30 PM – Memories of the Warsaw Uprising – meeting with witnesses and participants of the uprising

5 PM – 7 PM – piano concert dedicated to Frédéric Chopin



12 PM – 2 PM – folk dance workshop

4 PM – 6 PM – John Paul II and the World Youth Day – meeting with friends and co-workers of John Paul II

8 PM – closing concert of the international workshop organised by Karim Martusewicz. The Karimski Club Workshop 2016 participants will be joined by legendary Polish artists to perform compositions inspired by the life of John Paul II. The Karimski Club Workshop offer an incredible chance for young musicians, singers, music school students and World Youth Day participants to meet professional musicians and legendary Polish artists. The workshop will be held on July 17th-24th; for more information, go to

JOHN PAUL II. THE ORIGINS EXHIBITION, Castle Square, July 20th – August 15th, 10 AM – 10 PM

2016 marks a special celebration – 1050 years since the Baptism of Poland. The exhibition shows the history of Poland from the perspective of a great Pole – John  Paul II. Visitors will cross four symbolic gates and learn  about the history and values of the Polish people, as well as saints who left a mark on the spiritual history of the nation. The multimedia exhibition will take place in a special pavilion and is organised in partnership with the Museum of Polish History.

Jan Pawel II Zrodla 1 Jan Pawel II Zrodla 2 Jan Pawel II Zrodla 3 Jan Pawel II Zrodla 4

Jan Pawel II Zrodla 5 Jan Pawel II Zrodla


The exhibition shows three faces of Warsaw: before the war, during the German occupation and after the war. The exhibition is organised in partnership with the History Meeting House.


The exhibition will feature photographs and letters related to the meetings between Karol Wojtyła – and later, John Paul II – with young people from all around the world. The exhibition is organised in partnership with the John PaulII’s Footsteps Foundation and the Society of Friends of the John Paul II’s Foundation.

HEROES OF EVERYDAY EXHIBITION, Central Agricultural Library building, 66 Krakowskie Przedmieście street

The exhibition focuses on what it means to give and receive. The heroes of this exhibition are people who change the world through their ordinary, everyday deeds.


The exhibition is  a model of a Jewish town, and visitors will have a chance to learn about the culture of the Polish Jews and their influence on Polish history. The exhibition is organised in partnership with the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

EXHBITION OLD CHAPELS, SHRINES AND ROADSIDE CROSSES, 66 Krakowskie Przedmieście street, in front of the Central Agricultural Library

An outdoor exhibition showcasing Polish shrines and crosses. Each photograph tells a story of a town or village and its people.

PAPAL MEMORIES, various places in Warsaw

Two monuments symbolising a quotation mark will underline the importance of several places related to John Paul II’s visits to Warsaw. In each of those places, the visitors will be able to listen to the Pope’s speech in two languages.

OPEN STAGEJan Twardowski Square, July 20th-24th, 12 PM – 8 PM

The Open Stage gives you a chance to both listen and play; you can be in the concert audience or take part in jam sessions with other World Youth Day participants from all around the world. You can also perform here – either alone or with your band – and play covers or your original songs, at the same time presenting the culture of your country. Here you’ll meet fellow musicians, play, have fun and make friends! If you don’t bring your instruments, you can always use ours. May music unite us above language barriers!

The Open Stage will be curated by Polish singer/songwriter and musician Karol Strzemieczny (from bands such as  Paula i Karol, Naiv, Stan Miłości i Zaufania), who will entertain you as a guitarist and DJ. If you have any questions or ideas, make sure to drop him a line at:

The Open Stage is part of the Metropolitan Culture Zone, organised in Warsaw for World Youth Day and Days in Dioceses. It will be open from July 20th ’til July 24th at the ks. Jan Twardowski square in Warsaw.

Listen to Karol play as half of the Paula i Karol duo

OPEN PIANOKrakowskie Przedmieście street, July 21st – 24th, 10 AM – 10 PM

One of our stands on Krakowskie Przedmieście street will feature a piano accessible to each and every guest. World Youth Day participants will be able to show off their talent. The project is realised in partnership with the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

Jan Twardowski Square, July 21th-24th, 10 AM – 10 PM

The Sphere of Mercy is a space dedicated to any and all acts of charity. The guests will be encouraged to do good and to offer help to others. The projects within the Sphere are:

  • Mercy Mosaic – a large-scale mosaic of hundreds of pictures drawn by World Youth Day participants
  • DIY Mercy – a place for upcycling and decorating atypical furniture-installations, which will become part of the Sphere of Mercy
  • Give a Voice to Mercy – a place to record and listen, where everyone can hear a few good words and give some positivity back to the world
  • Look Deeper – a place to meet a stranger, stop in our frenzied everyday race and look each other in the eyes
  • Action Advisor – Catch the Opportunity – an information point for those willing to do a good deed or commit to a long-term voluntary service (project prepared in partnership with the Warsaw Centre for Social Communication)
  • Mercy Origami – a place for artistic expression, where World Youth Day participants can create works later to be donated to hospitals and hospices (project prepared in partnership with the School of Japanese Language and Culture)
  • Send Mercy to the World – an artistic postal office, where guests can create a unique postcard with a message
  • Spin the World with Mercy – a simple dance performed by World Youth Day participants, tourists and Varsovians
  • Something for Body, Something for Soul – a mime performance of short stories centring on mercy
  • Challenge Yourself and Forgive – a place to offer prayer intentions to the sisters of the Visitation Order
  • Letters of Hope a place to write a letter regarding  an important matter, such as e.g. human rights violations (project prepared in partnership with CitizenGO)
  • Living Books – a meeting with living, breathing books. They are people who experience prejudice, exclusion and discrimination in their daily lives. All visitors to the Living Library may talk to their chosen Living Book for half an hour. Entry is free, but booking is essential.

Krakowskie Przedmieście street 

This is where you can sign up to participate in guided tours and find information on the most interesting tourist spots in Warsaw as well as handy pocket maps. The guided tours start at 11 AM, 2 PM and 4 PM. The languages available are: Polish, English and Spanish. Each tour takes approximately two hours.

  • John Paul II’s Warsaw – take a vintage bus to all the places connected to John Paul II (in partnership with the Club of Public Transportation Lovers),
  • Warsaw in Green – bike tour along the riverbanks and Vistula scarp, the “green tunnel” of Warsaw,
  • Warsaw on Rails – take a vintage tram along the capital city’s main roads and listen to fascinating tales from the history of Warsaw public transport (in partnership with the Public Transport Authority),
  • Warsaw of the Uprising – walking tour featuring the most important memories of the Warsaw Uprising,
  • Like Phoenix from the Ashes – a walking tour around Warsaw and an unconventional, condensed lesson of modern Polish history (in partnership with the History Meeting House),
  • Memory Walk – walking tour around places connected with Jewish history in Warsaw (in partnership with POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews),
  • Multimedia Chopin – a walking tour around places connected with the greates Polish composer of all time, using the Chopin in Warsaw and Selfie with Chopin mobile apps (in partnership with the Warsaw Tourist Office).


underground of the Hoover Square pavilion

The Zone will host fascinating workshops centering on Solidarity, mercy, the history of Warsaw and Poland as well as the legacy of John Paul II. The small groups will be coached by experienced leaders, and every workshop will take approximately two hours.

  • Solidarity and Its Impact on the Polish People’s RepublicJuly 21st, 10 AM

This workshop will teach participants about the reasons behind Polish martial law, the emergence of Solidarity and its history up until the present day. Organised by: The Janusz Kurtyka Education Centre of the Institute of National Remembrance. Language: English.

  • The Treasure of SolidarityJuly 21st, 12 PM

The participants will learn what the emergence of Solidarity meant to the Polish people, what values the movement embraced and how to implement these even today. Organised by: The Centre for Thought of John Paul II. Language: English.

  • H’2’H – Human to HumanJuly 22nd, 10 AM

During this workshop the participants will discuss the concept of mercy and how to make it real through even the smallest things they do. Organised by: The Centre for Thought of John Paul II. Language: English.

  • The History of WarsawJuly 23rd, on the hour from 10 AM to 4 PM (except 12 PM and 2PM)

Workshop dedicated to the capital city of Warsaw – its history, architecture and often outlandish stories connected to particular places. Organised by: Museum of Warsaw. Language: Polish, English.

  • John Paul II – the Polish Pope, July 24th, 10 AM

The participants will learn about the most important events in the life of John Paul II and their influence on world history. Organised by: The Centre for Thought of John Paul II. Language: English.

You can sign up here for a workshop in the Cultural Zone during “The Days in Dioceses” of the City of Warsaw. The workshops take place in the Workshop Zone on Hoover Square (Krakowskie Przedmieście street).

OUTDOOR CINEMA, Jan Twardowski Square

The cinema will host screenings of great movies on deeply important subject, each time with a introductory lecture.


Everyday, 8.15 PM – History Made Short and Sweet! An unconventional lesson of 20 th century Polish history prepared by the History Meeting House. Lecturer: Juliusz Lichwa

  • All That I Love (Wszystko co kocham), dir. Jacek Borcuch, 21.07, 9 PM
  • Popiełuszko. Freedom Within Us (Popiełuszko. Wolność jest w nas), dir. Rafał Wieczyński, 22.07, 9 PM
  • Warsaw 44 (Miasto 44), dir. Jan Komasa, 23.07, 9 PM
  • Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (Karol – człowiek, który został papieżem), dir. Giacomo Battiato, 24.07, 9 PM 


PAVILION CINEMA, underground of the Hoover Square pavilion, July 21st-24th, 12 PM, 2 PM, 4 PM

The cinema will screen shorts focusing on the history of Warsaw: The City of Ruins (Miasto Ruin), Warsaw 1935 (Warszawa 1935), Warsaw Never Forgets (Warszawa nie zapomni) and The World of Joseph (Świat Józefa).


  • 2 PM – The World of Joseph
  • 3 PM – three shorts about Warsaw
  • 4 PM – three shorts about Warsaw


  • 12 PM – three shorts about Warsaw
  • 2 PM –  The World of Joseph
  • 4 PM – three shorts about Warsaw

Warsaw 1935 – a reconstruction of interwar Warsaw, showcasing the splendour of the capital city in the 1930s (appr. 20 mins), The City of Ruinsa reconstruction of Warsaw in ruins (appr. 5 mins), Warsaw Never ForgetsWarsaw between 1939 and 1945; the fight against the occupant and the postwar rebuilding effort (appr. 20 mins), The World of Josephfeature film about the Ulm family, executed for harbouring Jews (appr. 50 mins).

Krakowskie Przedmieście street, Open 9 AM – 7 PM 

The Zone will allow participants to combine physical activity with charity. Each kilometre run on the treadmill will earn money for those need.


  • 9 AM – stretching, fitness
  • 6 PM – First Aid lesson



12 PM – international beach volleyball tournament for pilgrims
The tournament will take place in front of the Palace of Culture and Science; participating teams must be registered in the Sports Zone or via
on website:

Hoover Square

This is where all participants and guests will have a chance to relax and chill out. The Zone will feature:

  • library with guides, albums and magazines in a variety of languages,
  • World Youth Day breakfast, at the Central Agricultural Library,
  • catering outlet.

Souvenir shop with World Youth Day and Metropolitan Culture Zone gadgets, such as t-shirts, books, totes, mugs, fridge magnets etc.


CITY GAME TO THE SOURCEvarious places in Warsaw

The participants will receive a set of questions related to John Paul II’s visits to Warsaw; they will supply the answers on a form (picked up from the Tourist Office) or via their mobile phone. The game features installations (so-called pins) and QR codes in each place visited by the Pope.


  • St. John’s Archcathedral and Jesuit Church
  • Castle Square and St. Anne’s Church
  • Presidential Palace
  • Church of the Basilian Fathers
  • St. Florian’s Cathedral
  • Capuchin Friars Church
  • Grand Theatre
  • Piłsudski Square
  • Royal Castle
  • National Stadium
  • Holy Cross Church
  • Field Cathedral of the Polish Army


Fourteen collectible cards with fascinating information about Poland. All can be collected while wandering the Metropolitan Culture Zone and visiting museums, galleries and other places.


Mobile app with thoughts and quotations of John Paul II for every day of the year, available in Polish and English. Download from the App Store or Google Plus.


In the arcades of the Central Agricultural Library, folk artisans from Mazovia and other regions will showcase their embroidery, paper cuttings, crepe flowers, sculptures, wood and beeswax art and many more. Guests will also have the opportunity to sample traditional meats, cheeses, pierogis and potato babkas. The market will be accompanied by the Chapels, Shrines and Roadside Crosses exhibition in front of the library building.


Selected events outside the Metropolitan Culture Zone

  • Jazz in the Old TownOld Town Square

The International Open Air Festival Jazz at the Old Town is one of the largest and most popular jazz festivals in Poland, playing host to the greatest jazz musicians. The 22nd edition will feature, among others, a concert by a world jazz legend on July 23rd at 7 PM.

  • Warsaw Pavilion105 Marszałkowska Street

A modern space for dialogue and learning, focusing on the history and modernity of the capital city of Warsaw. On July 21st and 22nd, World Youth Day participants will be able to take part in special screenings, workshops, games and quizzes.

  • Multimedia Fountain Park, 1. Dywizja Pancerna Wojska Polskiego Square, Podzamcze area

The multimedia spectacle “Water – Light – Sound” with LED spotlights and laser lights offers thirty minutes of breathtaking beauty and an artful tapestry woven from sixteen million colours. The “Mermaids of Warsaw” spectacle with music by Jean Michel Jarre will move and amaze every viewer. The shows will take place on July 22nd and 23rd at 9.30 PM.

  • Sport Zone1 Defilady Square, Palace of Culture and Science

Summer sports village in the heart of the city. World Youth Day participants, tourists and Varsovians will be able to play badminton and beach volleyball. The village will also host an international beach volleyball tournament, with World Youth Day participants forming competing teams.


Joanna Korzeniewska

+48 533 318 541


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