Cracowians (ethnic group)

Cracowians[lower-alpha 1] are a sub-ethnic group of the Polish nation, who resides in the historic province of Lesser Poland, in the area of the city of Kraków. They use their own dialect, which belongs to the Lesser Polish dialect of the Polish language. They are mostly Roman Catholics.

In the south (see Gorals), the extent of the Krakowiacy reaches the line marked by the towns of Bielsko-Biała, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Myślenice, Lipnica Murowana and Tarnów. In the east, the boundary between the Krakowiacy and the Sandomierzacy is not well established, reaching as far as Tarnów and Połaniec. In the west, the Krakowiacy reaches the Przemsza river, which has for centuries marked the border between Lesser Poland and Silesia. In the north, they reach the line marked by Częstochowa and Kielce.

The folklore of the Krakowiacy inspired several Polish artists, especially in the Young Poland period. Furthermore, Wojciech Bogusławski’s Krakowiacy i Gorale, regarded as the first Polish national opera, was first presented in Warsaw, on March 1, 1794.

The Krakowiacy are divided into two subgroups:

  • Eastern Cracowians, which inhabit the areas north and east of Kraków, from Jędrzejów and Miechów to Tarnów,
  • Wester Cracowians, residing west and north of Kraków. Their traditional clothes are associated with Kraków costume (stroj krakowski).


  • Encyklopedia Polski. wyd. Wydawnictwo Ryszard Kluszczynski, Kraków 1996.


  1. Polish: Krakowiacy'