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Monday, 2 April 2001


Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

My cordial welcome and my thanks for coming to you all. You represent the local authorities of Kraków. Present here are the Mayor of the city, the President of the Municipal Council and the Councillors - all those who assume responsibility for the appearance and life of this royal city.

During my last visit to Poland, I saw all the changes that have occurred. I also noticed how the city of Kraków has become more beautiful and has come alive. I remember that last year, Kraków was listed among the nine Capitals of European Culture. This is the result of the efforts made by all the city's residents and I know that you too have had a considerable part in them.

A city's image does not only come from the external beauty of the streets, squares and buildings, but consists above all in the way of life of its residents, from both the material and spiritual viewpoints. Therefore the local authorities, when making decisions concerning a city or district, must first of all consider the good of its residents - their needs, their expectations and the prospects of their full development. This is particularly important today.

I hope that through your service every citizen of Kraków, in affirming the beauty of his city, may thereby also express his own serenity, which comes from the sense of material security and the joy of sharing the whole cultural and spiritual patrimony of the city. I pray God that your daily service may bear good fruit. May the good Lord bless you in this service for the good of Kraków and its inhabitants.


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