The biggest Market Square in Europe! Magnificent, richly decorated town houses, slender City Hall Tower, historical shopping centre - Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), centuries-old churches and buildings of one of the oldest universities in the world – Jagiellonian University! And all that breathes the spirit of the Middle Ages.
In every nook, in every alley you can feel the medieval city spirit, the spirit of lively trade city and important religious and political centre! In the year 1000 a bishopric was established here and soon after Kraków became the residence of Polish rulers for many centuries. From 10th to 16th centuries kings and queens of Poland were crowned here. The great Wawel Castle, the seat of many different Polish monarchs, has taken new forms with the passage of time, therefore we can find here the traces of Romanesque, Gothic and most of all Renaissance styles.
And once all these sites were protected by the defence walls and fortifications, whose fragments we can watch to this day. Let’s take a look at the Barbican! At the beautiful towers defending the city. The treasures of bygone centuries are surrounded by the greenery of trees – the amazing Planty, i.e. city park, forming an exceptionally charming place to stroll. A bench in the shadow gives a perfect shelter during hot summer days, bus as a matter of fact Planty Park is beautiful in all seasons!
Where to start sightseeing one of the most popular European cities? Maybe in Kazimierz – the place where Jewish and Christian culture and religion pervaded each other throughout the centuries. We can find here numerous Judaic historical monuments, including most beautiful synagogues and cemeteries. Currently Kazimierz is one of the most lively cultural area of Kraków. Around the Plac Nowy (Nowy Square, commonly known as the “Jewish” square) there are many bars, pubs, cafes, with an atmosphere you wouldn’t find anywhere else!
The Old Town, Wawel and Kazimierz – that is about 3000 historical monuments, attract millions of tourists, including many artists: painters, writers, musicians, creators of culture and arts. Don’t forget about the students that are an inherent part of the city’s landscape and history. The massive Cloth Hall with dozens of stalls, the St. Mary’s Church with an altar by Wit Stwosz, overlooking the Main Market Square, the City Hall Tower and numerous medieval townhouses – and this beautiful sight has been accompanied by hourly bugle call for ages! Can there be anything more beautiful?
Maybe Boleslaw the Chase, who gave many privileges to the city in the 13th century, foresaw that Kraków would be an extraordinary town, famous all over the continent, which was proven by entering it in 1978 into the first UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list as one of 12 such places in the world!