Tourist Attractions And Places In Kraków, Poland
During the Second World War, Kraków, Poland was the location of the ghetto. In the midst of the war, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union jointly occupied the city. The German industrialist Oskar Schindler helped protect 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. His story was immortalized in the movie ‘Schindler’s List.’
In the Jewish quarter of Kraków, you’ll find a rich cultural life. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and art galleries to explore. The neighborhood is also known for its bohemian atmosphere. It’s best to hire a guide to guide you through the neighborhood’s history.
The oldest Jagiellonian University building is the Collegium Maius. This small museum houses the works of Nicolaus Copernicus. It’s a must-see place to visit during your stay in Krakow.
The Wawel Cathedral is the symbol of Catholicism in Poland. It was dedicated in 1364 and has served as a national sanctuary since that time. It was also used for coronations of Polish royalty. The cathedral is 80 meters tall and offers splendid views of the city.
The Kraków Cloth Hall, also known as the Cloth Hall in English, was a center of trade and international exchange in Central Europe during the 15th century. It was redesigned in the 19th century as an event center. It has exquisite Renaissance-style architecture. The main floor of the building houses galleries and souvenirs.
There are many historical sites in Krakow, including the Krakow cemetery. This is the final resting place for many notable Poles. It is also home to beautifully crafted tombstones. It is especially stunning on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The Barbican #1
‘London’s Ugliest Building’ is the Barbican. With its stony exterior and brutalist design, it is one of the UK’s most iconic buildings. It stands out from the crowd as a lasting exemplar of solid brutalism architecture.
It was conceived as an outer defense of the Florian Gate in 1498. It is surrounded by a moat. It has a drawbridge over the 98-foot-wide moat. It was built with 130 embrasures. It also had a heavy grilled door, known as a portcullis. It could be dropped on an enemy.
Originally, the Gothic-style barbican was connected to the city walls. Its inner courtyard was 24.4 meters in diameter. The outer walls were connected to the Brama Florianska gate tower by a brick passage called the Neck.
The Barbican is a popular tourist attraction. It was saved from the liquidation of the Krakow city walls in 1806, but its re-construction was vehemently opposed by local conservators. It is now operated as a branch of the Historical Museum of Krakow.
It is an ideal place to see medieval festivals, including the annual fencing tournament. It is one of three well-preserved barbicans in Europe. It was reconstructed after the Second World War. It was once one of the few fortified outposts in Europe.
It has a long history of collective action, including the UK’s biggest industrial strike. It was built by migrants from many countries. Those who built it never communicated with workers, and were never given full responsibility for disputes.
Planty Park #2
Located in Krakow, Poland, Planty Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. It is located right in the heart of the city and is ideal for walking and jogging. It is also a popular place for people to gather and enjoy the sights of the city.
Planty Park has a variety of monuments that commemorate famous Polish artists and writers. It is also a very peaceful place. It is a great escape from the bustling streets of the city.
The planty was established in the early 19th century, when the city of Krakow was redesigned. The old medieval fortifications surrounding the city were largely demolished. The area of the medieval moat was turned into a city garden. The park was designed to include monuments of important Polish figures.
Today, Planty is a place where locals and tourists can relax and get away from the crowded city. It is a very picturesque spot with flowering shrubs and fountains. There are cafes and kiosks where you can purchase sweets and food.
It is also a very popular spot for street musicians. The park has a long history. It was first built in 1820. It was designed by Florian Straszewski. He was a member of the Senate of Krakow.
The park was restored in the late 1980s. It has been designated as a UNESCO Cultural and Natural World Heritage site. The park is considered to be a perfect example of a “garden city”.
The park is divided into eight different gardens. The entire park is around 21,000 square meters in size. Each of the gardens is decorated in a different style.
St. Mary’s Basilica #3
Located in the Old Town of Krakow, Poland, Saint Mary’s Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This impressive landmark is a Gothic-style church, and its interior is exquisite. The altarpiece, built in the late-Gothic period, is a masterpiece.
The main altar is covered with richly detailed figures. The main panel depicts the Assumption of the Virgin. The central section shows the twelve apostles witnessing the death of the mother of Jesus. The Quietus is also pictured among the apostles.
The wooden altarpiece was carved over a twelve-year period by German sculptor Veit Stoss. This magnificent piece has more than 200 figures. When all the panels are opened, it measures 13 metres in height. The wooden panels are made from three types of wood.
The stained glass windows date from the 14th century, and the art nouveau window was restored in the early 19th century. Another feature of the building is the fanlights over the doors leading to the nave.
The narthex features similar fanlights. The ring of chapels is mostly in Baroque style. The east transept has stained glass windows with scenes of the life of St. Joseph. In the 18th century, the interior was remodeled by Archpriest Jacek August Lopacki.
The narthex was also remodeled, and the stained glass windows were replaced with new ones. In the early 20th century, Father Novatus Benzing began an ambitious building campaign. He drafted plans for a new sanctuary, and he launched a $10,000 fundraising campaign.
The Kosciuszko Mound #4
Located in Krakow, the Kosciuszko Mound is a memorial of a national hero. The Kosciuszko Mound was named after a famous Polish freedom fighter, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The Mound was a symbol of hope, faith and solidarity. Its construction started in 1820 and was finished in 1823.
The Mound was built with a granite boulder from the Tatra Mountains. During the mid-19th century, Austrian authorities began using the Mound as a strategic observation point. They also built a brick fort around the base of the mound.
The Mound was included in the system of fortifications in the Fortress of Krakow. The Kosciuszko Mound has been under major conservation work in recent years. A lot of interesting artifacts have been discovered at the Mound.
A new chapel at the bottom of the Mound gives the Mound a distinguished look. The Kosciuszko Memorial Museum is based in the citadel fort. It is home to a number of fascinating exhibits. The Museum contains artifacts that relate to the life of Tadeusz Kosciuszko.
It includes a wax figure, photographs and paintings. The Mound also has a restaurant, radio station and bar. A ticket is required to visit the Mound. The proceeds from the ticket go towards the Mound’s operations.
During World War II, the German Nazis attempted to destroy the Kosciuszko Mound. But the biggest threat was Mother Nature. In 1997, the Kosciuszko mound was damaged by floods.
The Mound was illuminated in 2002. The boulder that was placed on the top of the Mound, commemorating the November Uprising, weighs 545 kilograms. Its inscription reads TO KOSCIUSZKO.
St. Florian’s Gate #5
Located in the northern part of the Old Town, St Florian’s Gate is a reminder of Krakow’s medieval past. The gate was once the main entrance into the city and was used by kings and royalty. It was also the starting point of the Royal Road, a route through the Old Town that was used for a variety of ceremonies.
The tower of the Florian Gate is a Gothic style structure. The gate was constructed in the early 14th century, and was enlarged with a Baroque roof in the 1660s. It is the only one of the original eight gates to survive.
The Florian Gate is a part of the city’s ancient defence system. It is still used to protect the city from the bad winds. The walls are left standing, and the gate is a great landmark for visitors to the city.
The gate is located at the end of Florianska Street, which is home to many historic buildings. It is worth exploring the street’s history. You can visit the Brama Florianska, an impressive 113-foot-tall tower, which depicts Saint Florian. The Barbican is next to the gate, and is another symbol of the city.
The gate’s exterior is decorated with a statue of an eagle, and a decorative metal Baroque topper. The stone eagle was carved in 1882, and is based on the design of Jan Matejko. The face of the gate bears a classicalist altar from the early 19th century.
The Vistulan Boulevards #6
Located in the heart of Warsaw, the Vistulan Boulevards are a popular destination spot for locals and tourists. This scenic riverside promenade is the ideal place for swimming, boating, a picnic or simply a pleasant walk along the river.
The boulevards were built in 1907-1913 as part of the Danube-Oder-Vistula-Dniester canal. The purpose of the construction was to control flooding in the area of Krakow and Podgorze. The outer walls of the boulevards were built of concrete, with dimensions stone facing on the lower part. The upper part of the boulevards was divided by pillars and heavily rusticated pilasters.
There are many restaurants, cafes and other places to visit and enjoy in the Boulevards. The area is also ideal for families with children, who can take a stroll or swim in the lake. The Boulevards are also great for cycling. There are many cycle lanes, as well as a bicycle path.
The Boulevard is designed to be a public space that can be used by all. A pedestrian crossing will be constructed in the middle of the Boulevard. This will be about 400 metres long, and will be finished by 2020.
The Boulevard is also accessible to people with disabilities. It has been beautifully landscaped. There are stone sculptures in the form of marine creatures, and sail-shaped lamp posts. The Boulevard also features pergolas and terraces. It has a bike lane that follows the course of the river.
During the summer season, there is a water playground with dancing fountains. There are also floating restaurants that double as water-tram stops. There are also sailing boats, ferries and kayaks.
Visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau site is a haunting experience. This site was once home to 1.1 million people, most of them Jews. They were systematically beaten, tortured, and killed for trivial reasons.
The Nazis used the camp as a way to industrialize death. It was a large extermination camp with four gas chambers. They also had a hospital and several places of work. These buildings were destroyed in 1945 when the Nazis tried to conceal evidence of the site from the Soviet army.
You can visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau sites for free. However, you need to pre-book a time slot to visit the main site. The best time to visit is between 10 am and 3 pm. If you cannot find a time slot, you can visit as a part of an organised tour.
This will guarantee your entry into the camp. If you prefer to go on your own, you can visit the sites by bus or taxi. The cheapest method is to take a bus from the bus station near the Krakow train station. The trip is about an hour and a half.
Alternatively, you can hire a town car for an additional cost. This is a good option if you would like to stay at a hotel while you are here. The cost is approximately 23 to 314 PLN per night. To get to the Auschwitz-Birkenau, you can take a guided tour.
These tours will include an expert guide who will lead you through the site. You will have a chance to see the ruins of the gas chambers. You will also learn about the camp’s history. You will also be able to walk inside the recreations of wooden huts where people slept.
Wander the Wawel Royal Castle #8
Located in Krakow’s Old Town, the Wawel Royal Castle is one of Poland’s most impressive sights. It is the former residence of Polish kings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a rich history and is a popular tourist destination.
The Wawel complex consists of the Cathedral and the Castle. The former ruined castle has been restored. It is now a museum with numerous exhibitions, including the Lost Wawel and Oriental Art exhibits.
The Royal Private Apartments are the most impressive of all the buildings in the Castle. They offer great views of the Vistula River. The State Rooms are also worth a visit. They are decorated with wall friezes and carved wooden ceilings.
The Crown Treasury and Armory is located in the Arcaded Courtyard. It contains a collection of royal symbols and weapons. The museum is well-equipped to display the works of art.
The Wawel museum includes ten curatorial departments. It is a center for conservation and restoration of the artwork. Some of the exhibits include important collections of Italian Renaissance paintings and the largest collection of Ottoman tents in Europe.
Members of the Association of Art Historians can enter the Wawel Castle for free. The ticket is valid for a particular date and time. Children from ages seven to seventeen are charged reduced rates. The museum is open from 6 am to dusk.
Wawel is also home to a famous cave, the Dragon’s Den. A 50-year-old statue of a dragon resides in the cave. It breathes real fire.
FAQs about Krakow, Poland
What is so special about Kraków?
Kraków is a vibrant city located in southern Poland and is known for its cultural and historical significance. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a long and rich history as the former capital of Poland. Kraków is home to numerous architectural and cultural landmarks, including the Wawel Royal Castle, the Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica, the Rynek Główny, and the Old Town. The city is also renowned for its vibrant night life, featuring numerous pubs, clubs, and restaurants.
How old is Kraków Poland?
Kraków, Poland is one of the oldest cities in the country, with a rich history and culture. It is estimated that the city was founded around the 7th century, making it well over 1,000 years old. Kraków is now a bustling city, full of attractions, monuments, and other points of interest that are respected and admired by locals and tourists alike.
Why was Kraków a free city?
Kraków, located in southern Poland, was a free city from the 12th century until the Partitions of Poland in 1795. During this period, Kraków was a semi-autonomous city, with its own laws, government, and currency. This allowed the city to grow and develop independently, while also benefiting from trade with its neighbors. Kraków’s status as a free city also meant that it enjoyed certain privileges, such as exemption from taxes and military service. Additionally, Kraków was a major cultural and intellectual center, attracting artists and scholars from all over Europe.