Welcome to Krakow
Krakow is a city wrapped in legend, where time flows differently, and where every moment becomes a moment of history. For centuries Krakow was the capital of Poland, the seat of kings, drawing great scholars and artists from the whole world. It is their talents and imagination we must thank for the city's rich legacy of unique historical relics, which reflect the most important trends in European culture.
Wawel Castle – www.wawel.krakow.pl
The Wawel castle functioned as the residence of the Polish rulers from the mid-11th to the early 17th century. The present structure incorporates Romanesque fragments and considerable Gothic parts, but it acquired its present form mainly in the period c. 1504-1535, during the reign of the kings Alexander (1501-1506) and Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) of the Jagiellonian dynasty.
The Florian Gate
It's a part of a section of the medieval walls and towers and it survived intact. It was built in the 14th century and its upper store was added in the 15th. Also it's low top with soft, flowing forms was not done until the Baroque period.
The Cloth Hall
For many centuries The Market Square was a large trading center and was covered with the network of stalls creating something like a trading village. The Cloth Hall - a large set of stalls was founded in the 13th century. Destroyed by fire it was rebuild in the Renaissance style. In the old times the cloth was sold in the hall on the ground floor, while various goods were offered on the floor above. Now you can buy souvenirs from Krakow, works of Polish artists, leather goods, silver jewellery and folk handicrafts. The upper floor houses the Gallery of Polish 19th Century Art
Town Hall Tower is the only remaining part of the medieval Town Hall, which was erected in 14th century and pulled down in the early 19th century. From the top of the tower visitors can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Old Town. The tower houses a branch of the Krakow Historical Museum. Its vast cellars contain a theatre and a cafe.
St. Mary’s Church
The Mariacki church is the largest in Cracow, and, after Wawel, the most important place of worship in Poland. Built of red brick and with two towers of unequal height and form, it is not conventionally attractive. However, like many places in Krakow, it may well grow on you.
Synagogues of the Kazimierz
The 16th-century brick synagogue was built next to the 14th-century city walls at the south end of Szeroka street. Burnt in 1557, during the subsequent reconstruction it was given a Renaissance facelift evident in its outer shape, while the interior architecture has remained unmistakably Gothic.
The Czartoryski Museum - http://www.czartoryski.org/museum.htm
The Czartoryski Museum was founded in 1796 by Princess Izabela Czartoryska to preserve the Polish heritage in keeping with the Princess' motto: "The Past to the Future". The first objects in the so-called "Temple of Memory" were trophies commemorating the victory against the Turks at the siege of Vienna in 1683. The Museum also features historical artefacts from the looted treasures of the Wawel Cathedral, the Royal Castle and other objects donate by Polish Families.
Visits & Excursions
Worth to do and visit:
… discover the legend of the St. Mary’s Basilica, one of Krakow’s most-loved landmarks.
… take an amazing walk along the Royal Route
… visit the Czartoryski Museum
… stroll around the old Jewish quarter Kazimierz and afterwards enjoy a Jewish dinner and a concert at Klezmer House Restaurant
… explore the Europe’s largest Medieval market square (Rynek Glowny)
… experience the underground tour at the Wieliczka Mine (Unesco World Heritage)
… witness the horror of Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camp
… go and see The Sanctuary in Kalwaria (Unesco Heritage) and afterwards visit Wadowice – the birthplace of Pope John Paul
… book a full day excursion to the National Park and explore Zakopane and Tatra Mountains
… admire some amazing scenery as you float down the Dunajec River and visit Niedzica Castle in the Dunajec Valley
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