Believe it or not, Elvis Presley is still a big deal in Poland’s second city. And thanks to the determination of a few super fans and indulgent local authorities, Krakow has cultivated a surprising niche in monuments to the King. Come to Krakow for the architecture, history and pierogi, sure – but don’t leave without paying tribute to Elvis in his Eastern European home.
The local Elvis Presley fan club was established the 1990s, and members including Jan Blajda (the vice president) set about celebrating their idol in various ways around town. First on the agenda was a handsome memorial, rendered in stone and silicone, in Twardowski Rocks Park. Having lobbied the city council hard, Blajda and co managed to get it installed in time for the 30th anniversary of Elvis's untimely death.
Avenue of Stars
Within the same park, Blajda and the increasingly powerful Krakow Elvis Presley lobby also convinced city officials to formally rename a tree-lined path to ‘Aleha Eloisa Presleya’ (Elvis Presley Avenue). The route is extremely popular with both walkers and hound dogs.
The next nod to the King came in 2018, when the ‘All Shook Up’ singer was awarded his own coveted star on Krakow’s hallowed walk of fame – the Avenue of Stars (Bulwar Czerwieński).
The unveiling ceremony was attended by local Elvis impersonator Szczepan Sollich and even Elvis’s ex-wife Priscilla. Fellow Krakow walk-of-famers include Celine Dion and director Luc Besson.
The King may be gone, but he's always on Krakow's mind.