The Piwnica pod Baranami (English: The Basement, or the Cellar under the Rams) is a Polish literary cabaret located in Kraków, Poland. For over thirty years, in the People's Republic of Poland, Piwnica pod Baranami served as the most renowned political cabaret in the country, until the end of (and beyond) the communist era. Created by Piotr Skrzynecki in 1956, the cabaret continues its activities, contrary to rumours that it has been closed after the death of its founder in 1997. It resides at its original location in the medieval Old Town district, at the Main Market Square (next to Vis-á-vis café).
At first, the facility was a meeting place for Kraków students. It was a club for creative youth (Klub Młodzieży Twórczej), part of the Old Town Community Centre in the Palace under the Rams (Pałac Pod Baranami). The stage was formed by young artists of many different genres: writers, musicians, visual artists and actors, as well as their friends and faithful audiences. After nearly fifty years Piwnica became a legend of local eccentricity, and the style of the Piwnica cabaret entered the colloquial language as the "underground (piwnica) style" of performance. An account of the cabaret performance at Piwnica is given in a 2010 book A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka.
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