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Cracow. Zakrzówek is open, the park and swimming pools have been created in a former quarry. Both children and adults will benefit from the swimming pool

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Five swimming pools with a depth of 40 centimeters to two meters, walking paths and a beach for dogs – this is how the Zakrzówek park, built on the site of a former quarry, looks like after the official opening. For years, the lagoon area was fenced, but sometimes residents and tourists jumped from high rocks into the water, which resulted in tragic accidents. The newly arranged space is to serve safety, because from Thursday, lifeguards will be on duty there until the end of the summer.

Park Zakrzówek is a unique project in Poland, under which paths for walking and five swimming pools with a depth of 40 centimeters to two meters were created in the lagoon of the former quarry. The water is surrounded by high cliffs, from which earlier – despite the fact that the area was private and fenced – residents and tourists often jumped into the water. It was not uncommon for students to celebrate passing exams – the Jagiellonian University campus is located nearby. Unfortunately, jumping into the water often ended tragically. Last a fatal accident took place there just after part of Zakrzówek was made available, at the beginning of June.

Zakrzówek in Krakow after the opening of the park and bathing areastvn24.pl

News in Zakrzówek

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From Thursday (June 22), safety at the completed swimming pool is guarded by lifeguards. – The park is open 24 hours a day, while the bridges themselves will be closed at night, i.e. from 10 pm, so that there are no dangerous situations or events (…). Bathing in the entire reservoir is allowed in the entire area at your own risk, while in the pools themselves between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. we can be sure that if we or our children (…) come to bathe in the pools, they will be under the care of lifeguards – explains Piotr Kempf, director of the Municipal Greenery Authority in Krakow. He adds that between 11 and 14 lifeguards will be watching over the safety of vacationers, who will be in Zakrzówek every day until September 3.

Read also: He jumped into the water from a cliff, the second time he didn’t come out

Zakrzówek in Krakow after the opening of the park and bathing areastvn24.pl

It was, among others, security considerations, but also the desire to make this attractive place available, which influenced the fact that the Zakrzówek area changed its face. Platforms were created on the water, between which there was space for five pools of different depths. A Water Sports Center was built, a new car park, toilets, a changing room, as well as benches and litter bins appeared. Climbing walls, ping pong tables and drinking pits were also built.

There are also plans to open a beach for dogs, which will be made available after the completion of works on most of the reservoir. Officials from the Municipal Greenery Management emphasize that at the moment, the last works are still underway on a large reservoir at the Water Sports Center, which will become a base for divers and professionals.

– This is a special place. When I saw these pools and these piers, it’s a really great thing. It even looks great optically, not to mention that it serves not only divers, but also all people who want to bathe normally (…). This is Krakow’s showcase, there is so much buzz around it (…) that people will come here even out of curiosity – told journalists during the official opening of Zakrzówek, Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski.

Zakrzówek in Krakow after the opening of the park and bathing areastvn24.pl

They even come from other cities

Residents and tourists who came to Krakow to visit the newly opened place do not hide their satisfaction with the effect. – I decided to go in the morning, taking advantage of the weather. This is my first contact with Zakrzówek. The water is still quite cold, but maybe the temperature will increase. Enjoys a large crowd city ​​guard and lifeguards, children can play safely – says Mr. Kamil, who came to the capital of Lesser Poland from Tarnów, which is about 80 kilometers away.

Basia visited Zakrzówek for the second time. She was here for the first time eight years ago, still during her studies. – I did not use the bath then, we were on the other side, on the rocks. Changes are definitely a plus, especially for families. However, for younger people who prefer such attractions “in the wild”, it is a change a bit in the worse direction. But it’s definitely not my last time here – the woman from Krakow told us.

Anna, on the other hand, points out that although many things have gone well in Zakrzówek, some aspects of the investment raise doubts. – I wonder if people will go upstairs to the building (you have to go up the stairs to the cabins – ed.) with toilets or will they do their business in the bushes, because they won’t feel like it. The trash cans are also higher than the pools so I’m afraid it will get messy soon. In general, the park is nice, but probably not adapted to people’s behavior – Mrs. Anna is worried.

Zakrzówek in Krakow after the opening of the park and bathing areastvn24.pl

Controversial construction of Zakrzówek

The construction of the Zakrzówek park began in 2020, but the plans to develop the space of the former quarry were already in place, and they took shape in 2017.

As the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, reminded on Thursday, the area of ​​Zakrzówek was purchased by the city. – As part of the participatory budget, a project was developed to develop this place for recreational purposes. That’s why several architectural concepts were created and we chose four of them. We put these ideas to the vote of the people. 18,000 people voted and more than half chose this project – said the local government official during the opening.

The rocks of the former quarry were secured with nets. This solution has been controversial from the beginning of some Krakow activists and lovers of Zakrzówek. – The nets certainly did not make Zakrzówek safer, because so far no one has died there from a rock fragment. People died because they entered where they should not, crossed the fence, climbed the rock ledges and fell or jumped into the water and simply did not come out – Paulina Poniewska, an activist of the Rescue Action for Krakow told us last year. Officials defended the idea, maintaining that accidents involving rocks could potentially happen.

Local activists were also indignant at the overscaled – according to some – project. Some activists postulated that Zakrzówek should become a place open to people, while preserving its partly wild character.

Main photo source: tvn24.pl

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