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Krakow City

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Centuries ago, surrounded by monumental walls, and now a green park belt. Krakow city center is somewhat protected from the urban bustle of the everyday city life. There is always an opportunity to experience the unique charm that surrounds the historical center of Krakow, whether it be by night or day. No matter what your interests are or how you like to spend your time, be it by visiting one of the innumerable churches, which in this part of the city are literally on every corner, sightseeing the world's largest geological museum under the main market square, or just walking down one of the many small charming alleys. However Krakow city center is not only the main market square, cloth hall and surrounding streets, but also the Royal Wawel Castle - historic seat of Polish kings, Jagiellonian University - the oldest Polish university with the famous Collegius Maius. Also we cannot forget about the former Jewish district of Krakow. Today Kazimierz draws thousands of tourists with its charming narrow streets, centuries-old synagogues and countless cafes and restaurants that shine with character, where you can relax and enjoy the local specialties of Krakow.

Krakow Market Square and Old Town

Krakow Market Square was the largest medieval market in Europe. It was located where the main market square is today covering an area of 200x200 meters. For centuries, the market square has been the heart of Krakow, as it still is today. It is true that one can no longer find merchants there offering charcoal or fresh pork, but today it has become a meeting place for great cultural events and the center point for tourists to start exploring Krakow’s many attractions.

The center point of the main market square today is the Cloth hall, a beautifully restored build. The cloth hall is situated along the former street that was reserved for the most influential merchants of that time. Today, however, the cloth hall is home to small-market stalls that are located on the ground floor selling mostly local handcrafts as well as amber and other traditional souvenirs to the visiting tourists. The National museum has a branch on the 1st floor of the building where you can find a permanent exhibition of Polish artwork.

Recently, in late 2010 a unique underground museum was completed, an attraction that is unique even on a global scale and according to the builders this is the largest of its kind in the world. The exhibitions located under the main market square, was created using the very latest technology and is put together to give visitors an unforgettable insight into Krakow’s history.

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St. Mary’s church is one of the main focal points of Krakow’s old town, with its two towers that overlook the old town and the surrounding areas. Visitors can hear the bugle called out every hour from the top of the highest tower to commemorate the Tatar invasion. The main alter of St. Mery’s church is the largest Gothic alter in Europe, and it took the creator 12 years to complete, namely Veit Stoss.

Collegium Maius

Collegium Maius is the oldest university building in Poland. Initially, this was a one house building that Wladyslaw Jagiello gave to the University, but over time the University has been enhanced with new buildings. Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the Collegium Maius is its core. This University is worth a visit.

The Royal Wawel Castle

Wawel Hill was a place of great strategic importance and defense long before the appearance of the Royal Wawel castle, surrounded by wetlands and with an ideal view of the surrounding area. Initially, the first settlements where members of the Wislanie tribes and by the turn of the eleventh century the limestone hill now known as the Wawel hill was chosen as the seat for the Polish king and the first bishop of Krakow. With time the development on the Wawel hill began to grow. More and more new buildings added over time created a beautiful and very rich complex. Unfortunately, after the great fire of 1595r, the castle declined and the king at that time decided to move the Polish capital to Warsaw. During World War II, the Wawel Castle was occupied as living quarters for Hans Frank - governor of general IRzeszy II. Somewhat thanks to this function the Royal Wawel Castle survived the Second World War almost intact. In the second half of the twentieth century, the buildings on the Wawel hill underwent numerous repairs and reconstructions that have led to their currant appearance. This can be enjoyed will strolling among the finest works of art and culture.


Sightseeing is offered mainly on four preset routes throughout the castle: The Royal State Rooms, The Royal Private Apartments, The Crown Treasury and Armory, and The Wawel Cathedral and Royal Tombs.
In addition, whilst visiting the Royal Wawel Castle, you should visit the "Royal Garden," the Dragon's Lair, climb the tower of the cathedral, where you can admire the giant Bell “Zygmunt" and see the beautiful views of the surrounding areas.

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Kazimierz

Kazimierz is the former Jewish district of Krakow. It is hard to believe today that before the Second World War, there was about 65 000 Jewish people living in this very successful and prosperous enclave of the city. Located just outside the old city walls opposite the Royal Wawal Castle, Kazimierz was by many thought of as the Jewish capital of Europe. The Jewish population in Krakow contributed to about 25% of the total population of Krakow at the turn of the century.

To this day, Kazimierz has preserved in many ways its manifestation, which can be experienced by visiting this beautiful part of Krakow. Today, you can still see the New Cemetery, Temple Synagogue, New Center for Jewish Culture, The Isaac Synagogue, The Synagogue, High Synagogue and Cemetery Remuh. A walk-through Kazimierz is a tribute to its former residents, who due to the extermination by the Third Reich were removed from their homes, and much of their culture destroyed and plundered. Furthermore, while in Kazimierz, a visit to the Schindler's museum and Schindler's factory that was made famous worldwide by the film, Schindler’s List is an unforgettable experience. 

 

 

 

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