Piwnica pod Baranami – a cabaret born in Plac na Groblach Square


We are an isle in the sea of bestiality, dullness, stupidity, roguery, cynicism, intolerance and violence. We are an isle. Because who are artists, artists are shy people – sang Piotr Skrzynecki, one of the founders of Piwnica pod Baranami (in English: the Cellar under the Rams). This unique Cracow-based cabaret started its activity 50 years ago in one of tenement buildings in Plac na Groblach Square. Learn more about its history…

The history of the Cracow-based cabaret goes back to 1956 when Piotr Skrzynecki and a few university students, among them Bronisław Chromy and Krzysztof Penderecki, founded a well-known post-war Polish cabaret.

Piwnica opened on 26 May 1956 as a meeting place for Cracow university students. The first performers, apart from Piotr Skrzynecki himself, included Krzysztof Litwin, Tadeusz Kwinta, Mirosław Obłoński, Irena Szaszkiewiczowa and Joanna Olczakówna. The one who oversaw the entire undertaking was Janina Garycka – a literary director and the “heart and soul” of Piwnica pod Baranami.

As the years went by, the cabaret located in Cracow was growing in popularity around the world. The stage of Piwnica pod Baranami received well-known and esteemed artists such as Ewa Demarczyk, Leszek Długosz, Marek Grechuta, Jacek Wójcicki, Grzegorz Turnau, Tamara Kalinowska, Beata Rybotycka, Dorota Ślęzak and Andrzej Warchał.

Piwnica pod Baranami is open to this day, and although its seat has been moved to the Main Market Square, the history of the cabaret is inextricably connected with Plac na Groblach Square.

Plac na Groblach Square – a home to the founders of Piwnica pod Baranami

Janina Garycka and Piotr Skrzynecki, considered to be the chief founders of Piwnica pod Baranami, for many years lived in an atmospheric tenement building at no. 12 in Plac na Groblach Square. This is where Piotr Skrzynecki wrote his lyrics and Janina Garycka made plans for the cabaret’s future. In the 1960s and 1970s Plac na Groblach Square witnessed the nightlife of Piwnica pod Baranami’s artists and the famous name day party of Piotr Skrzynecki where guests climbed through the window on the ground floor.

Piotr Skrzynecki wanted to capture the atmosphere and charm of this place in a documentary film – the plan never came to life, but thanks to fva.pl you can watch Piwnica’s founder as he speaks of the uniqueness of Plac na Groblach Square. The 11-minute long video is available HERE. If you want to find out who else lived in Plac na Groblach Square, go to an article entitled Who lived in Plac na Groblach Square? on our blog.

Plac na Groblach Square in Piwnica pod Baranami’s works

Plac na Groblach Square has had a place in the history and creative works of Piwnica pod Baranami. The artists celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cabaret with a song entitled “O Groblach, na Groblach” (in English: “About Groble, in Groble”) by Zbigniew Książek (lyrics) and Zygmunt Konieczny (music). The song is available to hear HERE. Plac na Groblach Square is present in other lyrics written by Zbigniew Książek in a song entitled simply “Plac na Groblach”. The music was composed by Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz. The song rendered by Beata Rybotycka is available to hear on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD4qLlHlWDY

If you have become fascinated with the history of Groble, you are invited to visit the apartments in Plac na Groblach 19. Perhaps this is where you will find your new home.