The Krakow Nativity is a unique form of nativity. Called szopka in Polish, or szopki Krakowski. Originated in the first half of the 19th century in Krakow by the bricklayers and construction workers idled by the severe Polish winters. They created fanciful nativities from cardboard, foil paper and beads. Krakow nativities, called in Polish Szopka Krakowska, while showing the eternal story of Christ's birth, locate it within miniaturized elements of Krakow's architecture, landmarks, legends and folklore. The Krakow Nativities instead of locating the Holy Family in the manger, place it within Krakow's landmarks, The St. Mary Church, Wawel - the Royal Castle, the Cloth Hall as well as Krakow's medieval walls and it's famous remaining gate the Barbican, as well as bits and pieces of many other churches and landmarks. Krakow Nativities usually have at least two levels for presenting the eternal holy story of Christ's birth, and sometimes even three and four levels. The bigger nativities are lit, and a great show is presented with moving figures, some even incorporated music and text. The figures perform Christmas plays. Nowadays, Krakow Nativities are mostly made in several sizes,small nativities that can be placed under the Christmas tree, medium size, and larger nativities, some as tall as 10 feet. The bricklayers traditionally brought their nativities to Krakow's main square to share them with the city people and hopefully to sell. Bringing the Krakow Nativity to the main square became a tradition and they are always brought and presented by the Adam Mickiewicz monument there. In 1937 a Krakow Nativity competition was started, which has continued to this day with a short interruption during WWII. The nativities are judged, and the most beautiful Krakow Nativities are awarded prizes and exhibited for 2-3 months at the Historical Museum of Krakow. The Krakow Nativities offered here are either the winning entries from the Yearly competition or copies of these same nativities made by the artists. 10% of the price of each Krakow nativity sold here is donated to the Historical Museum of Krakow to continue this unique and beautiful tradition.