Krakow Must See
Thanks to its heritage the Krakow was honoured with the title of the European Capital of Culture for 2000th year.
The former capital of Poland, is one of the most important cultural and tourist centres of the country, and the seat to many cultural institutions that make life pleasant for the inhabitants and over 7 million tourists visiting every year.
Krakow's central square, the largest of medieval European cities, is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful plazas. It boasts a plethora of landmarks and myriad restaurants, clubs, and cafes.
The Market Square is still the scene of major ceremonies, grand processions as well as the city's everyday life. Its vast space easily contains dozens of restaurants and cafés, flocks of pigeons, street artists, a flower market, a regional TV studio installed in an old tram, a stage for open air concerts, and - every now and then - a travelling art installation, an antiques fair or a crafts bazars.
World's greatest medieval sculpture
The 42-foot-high and 36-foot-wide Veit Stoss' magnum opus is the largest Gothic sculpture in the world. It consists of 200 fine limewood sculptures treated with color and gold foil. The central part, with huge lifelike statues of the saints, depicts dramatically the Virgin Mary's Quietus among the Apostles.
Wawel Royal Castle
Mecca of every Pole and a must for foreign tourists, the Wawel Hill is a microcosm of Polish history and culture. From the 11th century on Poland's monarchs took up their residence here in the Royal Castle. And they were both crowned and buried here in the Wawel Cathedral. The place overflows with art treasures, architectural beauties, relics of the past and curiosities. It is also full of glory, magic, history and fable.
Prettiest Leonardo da Vinci
Krakow is one of just six places in the world that can boast a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. And of his three female portraits Krakow’s Lady with an ermine is arguably the most beautiful.
Scenic Kanonicza Street used to constitute the last and most glorious part of the Royal Road, Krakow’s ceremonial route leading from the main city gate to the central square to the Royal Castle. Lined with stately, mostly Renaissance houses, it is arguably one of Europe’s finest streets.
The Grand College, or Collegium Maius, the oldest college of Poland's oldest and best university, houses the University Museum now. It was rebuilt by the end of the 15th century as a splendid late-Gothic edifice around a vast courtyard with surrounding arcades and a well of 1517 in the center. Professors lived and worked upstairs, while lecturing downstairs. In the 1490s they had Copernicus among their students.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine
Millions of visitors, the crowned heads and such celebrities as Goethe and Sarah Bernhardt among them, have enthused over that subterranean world of labyrinthine passages, giant caverns, underground lakes and chapels with sculptures in the crystalline salt and rich ornamentation carved in the salt rock. The last 900 years, when the Wieliczka Salt Mine has been worked, produced 200 kilometers of passages as well as 2,040 caverns of varied size.
Now in Krakow's downtown, the ancient city of Kazimierz used to be its medieval rival. The area contains many landmarks and the former Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, one of the main centers of Diaspora in the past.
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