City Game: Following in the footsteps of Joseph Retinger in Kraków

Based upon the pedagogy of experience and urban games, which is a mixture of RPG and scout scavenger hunts taking place in real time, students like pawns move on the board of the city and carry out research tasks in order to accomplish the mission entrusted to them - by matching places, facts, a rapid solving puzzles, and, above all, within a predetermined time-frame.

The game scenario was developed through a consultation with an outstanding Retingologst, Dr. Bogdan Podgorski.

Participants were divided into 5 groups of six, in which they completed the project.

The participants received a map of the center of Krakow, the rules of the game, a brief description of the hero's connection with Krakow and four Austrian crown coins. Their task was to reach seven checkpoints. Each point was associated with the life of Joseph Jerome Retinger:

  • Wislna Street, where a plaque created by Antoni Puddle is located, dedicated to Jospeh Retigner.
  • Jagiellonian University, where Retigner studied, along with also his father and whose grandfather was once a rector of the Academy
  • St.Anne Gymnasium, today Nowodworek, where Retigner studied 
  • Academic Church of the Jagiellonian University, where Retinger married Otolia Zubrzycka
  • Restaurant Chimera, whose name refers to the magazine dedicated to art and literature, to which Retinger frequently wrote.
  • Kencowska townhouse and a café bar, now called Redolfi, where Retinger met with his daughter from his first marriage with Otolia Zubrzycka - Wanda Puchalska
  • French hotel, which is associated with the acquaintance of Joseph Conrad and Retinger

At each point, participants met a person from the hero's life who related to them their relationship with Joseph Jerome Retinger. Furthermore, the students than completed a set of activities  which allowed them to familiarize themselves with the biography of Joseph Retinger, knowledge of people in the Retinger social circle, cultural understanding and knowledge  of Retinger's times, and the topography of the city. The also received tips for the following place.

The game takes place simultaneously using three paths, so that participants cannot meet with other groups at the checkpoints.

Track 1:

UJ - Nowodworek - Hotel French - Chimera - the church and Redolfi

Track 2:

Nowodworek - Hotel French - UJ - the church - Chimera and Redolfi

Track 3:

Hotel French - UJ - Nowodworek - Redolfi - Chimera - the church


After the game, each group accounted for the effects of their wandering around the city center.

The participants then took part in a museum lesson - along with a guided tour of an exhibition at the International Center of Culture entitled Traces of People. The theme of the exhibition centered around photographs taken of the cities of Gdańsk, Warsaw, Lodz, and Sao Paulo.

Following the exhibition, classes were held with Dr. Kinga Anna Gajda devoted to the theory of memory and memory locations.

Photo gallery