Kraków, Poland

 Kraków, Poland
 Hometown of
 Danuta Allen

I come from Cracow, which is one of the largest, oldest, and the most beautiful cities in Poland, and this is not only my subjective opinion ;). The city located in the south of Poland, on the Vistula river (Wisła), was founded in the 7th century, and served as Poland’s capital between 1038-1596.

Nowadays, Cracow’s population is estimated to be over 750,000. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, and following Poland’s joining the European Union, Cracow has become an important center of multinational business, economy, education, and art not only in Poland but also in Europe. The most popular part of the city is the old neighborhood called The Old Town, which has regularly hosted various types of multicultural events.

Cracow has many historical sites, which reflect the city’s golden age, and make the city extremely popular among tourists from all over the world. When walking around the Old Town, at any given time, you can hear English or other foreign languages spoken. This is because tourism is always alive and well in Cracow (regardless of the season!), although the busiest time falls between May and September. Cracow’s infrastructure is being continually developed with large groups of incoming tourists in mind. The city has many attractions to offer, including: museums, art galleries, historical sites, restaurants with traditional Polish cuisine, conveniently located shopping centers, and modern movie theaters. One of the Europe’s oldest Universities, Jagiellonian University (Uniwersytet Jagielloński), which was founded in 1364, is located in Cracow. The university offers a wide variety of non-degree and degree studies in many fields, including foreign languages, literature, and linguistics.

Additionally, Cracow’s Public transportation is very well developed, making the commuter’s life very easy. Simply get your tourist pass, and you can get anywhere without paying for a cab ;). When visiting Poland, find some time and plan a trip to Cracow. I promise, the city won’t disappoint but it will make it worth your while :).

Below is the list of Cracow’s most famous and attractive monuments. Most city tours will typically include visiting most or all of the following places:

The Wawel Hill served as a place of residence to many Polish kings and monarchs. During WWII, it survived the occupant’s plans to be demolished (since it is Poland’s symbol of statehood). It has now become one of the largests museums available to the public.

map
capitol

 

A Gothic Church from 13th century, located at the corner of the Old Town Square. It is particularly admired for its altarpiece carved out of wood by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz). It has two towers. From the top of the taller one, a trumpet sigmal is played every hour. The played tune is always left unfinished in order to commemorate the 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat while he was playing the tune to warn the city dwellers against the Mongol attack.

The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) is the city’s most recognizable building (built during the Renaissance period). Initially, it was built as the center of international trade. Now, famous for housing many merchant stalls selling big and small souvenirs.

University
ice cream

The Town Hall tower is the only remaining part of the original Town Hall building that was demolished in 1820. In the past, the Medieval times, the building housed cellars with torture chambers.

From Latin “Great College”, is the oldest building of the Jagiellonian University, built in 14th century. It is located in the Old Town part of the city, at the corner of Jagiellonian Street and St. Anne Street.

Lake


 



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