Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 26, 2022

Beautiful Krakow

Krakow is a city in southern Poland near the border of the Czech Republic.

The Krakow Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage site. The Market Square has been a place of action since the Middle Ages. Here you can find bars housed in the cellars of Medieval buildings, there are street cafes and restaurants. Among the landmarks are the central Renaissance Sukiennice or Cloth Hall and the Town Hall Tower (the hall was demolished in 1820.)

Main market square, cloth hall and town hall tower seen from above, Krakow, Poland

Sukiennice or Cloth Hall is the world’s oldest shopping center. There are plenty of souvenirs and food stands.

Wawel Castle is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo, and Romanesque architecture. It was home to Polish kings and queens until the 1600s. It has also been used as a barracks, a military hospital, and the official residence of the state governor after WW I.

The Dragon’s Den is an exciting thing to tour. According to legend the Smok Wawelski dragon used to live beneath the mound of Wawel Castle and would terrorize the city residents. It came to an end thanks to a shoemaker and a sheep stuffed with sulfur. There is a statue of the dragon breathing real fire.

Wawel Cathedral stands behind the old walls of the Wawel Castle and is the most important church in Poland.

Planty Park is the green belt that covers the whole area of the historic Old Town. There are pathways that weave their way past sculptures, fountains, and brick towers.

The Barbican is the only remaining gatehouse of the Medieval fortifications that once encircled the city. Today theater productions and other art shows are hosted here.

St Florian’s Gate marks the start of the Royal Route. As you pass through you can hear buskers playing as you head into the Old Town.

The soaring hill of Kosciuszko was raised in 1823 to honor its namesake national hero, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought for Poland against the Russians and the Prussians in the 18th century. From the top of the hill, you can see awesome views of the city, and on clear days see the Tatra Mountains to the south.

St Mary’s Basilica has a redbrick facade and twin spires. It was founded in the 13th century but destroyed during a Mongol invasion and there are many replacements. The basilica still hosts the hourly bugle call – the Hejnal Mariacki.

The Vistula River weaves its way through the heart of Krakow. Its banks host wide green spaces, summertime markets, beer bars, and boat cafes. You can hire a bike for riding or go strolling or jogging watching the boats on the river.

Wieliczka Salt Mines offered up tonnes of valuable rock salt from the earth below the city. Today you can see sculptures carved in subterranean passages and St Kinga’s Chapel – an underground cathedral made of salt.

Auschwitz-Birkenau offers an informative insight into the horrors of the Holocaust and the destruction wrought by the Nazis on Jews and other minority groups. The memorial and museum are located about an hour from the city center.

The Rakowicki Cemetery is full of graves and grand sepulchers of Polish artists, politicians, poets, film actors, generals, and others. On All Saint’s Day on November 1, you can see thousands of candles twinkling in honor of the dead.

The Ojocow National Park is a 20-minute car ride from Krakow, There are walking trails and deep caves, Supposedly haunted castle ruins, and traditional country taverns.

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