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Presentation of Polish Cities

KRAKOW

KRAKOW, POLAND'S HISTORIC CAPITAL

 

Map of Krakow


Picturesquely set overlooking the Vistula River, Krakow has a history going back over a thousand years, a host of monuments of Mediaeval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, and an old University (founded l364). A looking glass for Polish and European tradition, Krakow was entered in 1978 on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Sightseeing in Krakow

CITY SIGHTSEEING

Barbican in Krakow, its main task was to present its defenseYour walk about town starts at the fortification walls near the Barbican and Florian Gate. The Gate (c. 1300) leads out onto an ancient route through town, along Florianska Street, known as "the drawing-room of Krakow". Passing the Jama Michalika Literary Coffee House, which has a Cracovian Art Nouveau decor of late, 19th-century drawings and cartoons, and walking by an impressive line of historic town houses, we reach Krakow's Market Square, one of the most beautiful market places in Europe, and the scene of many important events in Poland. The double spires of St. Mary's Basilica tower over the Market Square, and from one of them the famous Bugle-Call is sounded every hour over the city. Inside the Basilica holds a monumental 15th-century masterpiece, the High Altar carved by Wit Stwosz.
St. Mary's Church - Roman Catholic church in KrakowIn the center of the Market Square stands the Mediaeval Cloth Hall, Sukiennice with a Renaissance outer decoration but still with shops and stalls inside as busy as ever selling souvenirs. The top story houses a gallery exhibiting Polish art. The Market Square of Krakow teems with life all day and night long, with numerous cafes offering a tasty welcome in their summer street-gardens. Just off the Market Square is the Gothic Collegium Maius, the Jagiellonian University's oldest extant building. Passing the quaint little Church of St. Adalbert in the middle of the Market Square, we move on into the Grodzka Street, the Royal Way which brings us up to Wawel Castle.The mighty Castle of Wawel, Poland's heart and witness to her history, is situated on a hill of the same name towering 25 meters over the Vistula River. For many centuries Wawel Castle was the chief residence of the kings of Poland. Embellished in a Renaissance development in 1499-1536 with its single-arcaded courtyard and with a Renaissance interior decor, the Castle now houses a rich collection of 16th-century Flemish wall tapestries of Arras, alongside a Polish art collection. Prior reservation for fixed time 

Krakow Wawel Cathedralis required for a visit to the Royal Residence. Wawel Cathedral is another building on the Hill, next to the Castle. The present day Cathedral was consecrated in 1364, and is noted for its Renaissance Sigismundian Chapel alongside the Sigismundian Bell hanging in a tower which gives a magnificent view of the entire city.

There are many museums in Krakow; we shall be paying a call to the Museum Czartoryskich, which contains the famous "Lady with an Ermine" by Leonardo da Vinci, and "Landscape with the Good Samaritan" by Rembrandt. We set off for another round of sightseeing to the old Jewish town, in the district of Kazimierz. Here we see St. Catherine's Church and Skalka Church - the Shrine of St. Stanislaw - Bishop and Martyr. Next door - historic synagogues: the 15th-century Old Synagogue (housing the Museum of Judaism), the 16th-century Remuh Synagogue, and the 17th-century Isaac Synagogue. Krakow is a place you will keep coming back to, each time to discover new objects of startling beauty.

SUGGESTIONS FOR AN EVENING IN KRAKOW:




 

Main Market Square

The centre of the city lives day and night
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Saint Mary's Basilica

Saint Mary's Basilica is the largest and tallest church of Krakow's Old Town: covered in star-strewn polychrome painted decoration, with a vaults soaring some 28m (92ft) above the floor
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Cloth Hall

Sukiennice
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