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Poland: Krakow – the city of kings and dragon

Krakow – once the capital of Poland, and today one of the most beautiful architectural gems of Europe. The whole city is permeated with a medieval spirit, reinforced by the numerous greenery, so rare for modern cities. Krakow is a work of skilled craftsmen who leave no one with doubts about their virtuosity.

The heart of the city is the Cracow Wawel Fortress, towering on the Vistula River. From the 11th to the beginning of the 17th century, it was the main residence of the Polish kings. In the fortress, a tenacious look reveals details of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Today, there is a rich museum full of the most diverse historical exhibits. The most famous of them, of course, are the Coronation Jewels. Ancient paintings, furniture and Flemish fabrics and tapestries are also beautiful.

Krakov – socha draka připomíná krakovskou legendu. Legends about a dragon who decided to live outside the fortress walls many years ago go about the fortress. The periododes monster devastated the city, and people in the city lived in constant fear. But one fine day, Krak decided to attack the dragon, but cunningly. He tossed him a wolfskin full of sulfur, he swallowed it and went to drink water after a hearty meal. But as soon as water filled his stomach, sulfur exploded and smashed the dragon to shreds. Today, a dragon statue reminiscent of a fairy tale is standing under the fortification walls and spewing fire at regular intervals.

In the fortress you can visit not only in the interior, but also visit the dragon’s den. Such a walk around the fortress will be very pleasant, the road leads under the fortress walls, along the Vistula coast, all the way you will be accompanied by bright souvenir shops, the most common souvenir of which is of course the Wawel plush dragon.
Před Mariánským kostelem čeká množství kočárů, zvoucích na prohlídku města.

The historic city center is protected by UNESCO. Those who have already visited Krakow at least once know why. This is a beautiful architecture, in all its medieval splendor appearing on Rynek Glowny Square. Krakov – kostel sv. Panny Marie je oblíben zejména u domácích. A square of 200 by 200 meters is the center of the city, where all the surrounding streets flock. There are the ruins of the medieval Town Hall, the enchanting Mariansky Church with two high towers, one of which is taller and more “musical” – every hour it sounds music. The church was built in 1223, has all the features of the Gothic style. It boasts a rich decoration of interior interiors. The local Black Madonna is also famous – a composition of 12 statues. On the other side of the square is the Ratusz Tower. This is the so-called “Polish oblique tower”, with a deviation from the vertical of 55 cm. At the former cloth market – Sukiennice – once sold fabrics and various textiles. Today, shops with souvenirs and traditional Polish goods are also full of here.

Behind the Mariana Church is another square – Malý Rynek. Typical for it are terrace-shaped ledges in front of the houses, which testifies to their medieval age.

Krakov – budovy porostlé břečtanem připomínají chladnou Anglii. Famous Poles found their last refuge in the cave of the Wawel Cathedral. Entire royal families and famous citizens of Krakow – writers, military men and merchants – are buried in the local tombs. The famous Zygmunt bell hangs completely in bronze in 1521. His powerful voice can be heard only in the most solemn moments for the country. They say that if you touch his tongue, then the most secret desires will come true.

The Kazimier quarter is Jewish. Formed by short streets with low houses. On some, inscriptions with the names of Jewish merchants have been preserved. During World War II, the Germans took 65,000 Jews from these quarters to concentration camps. Hardly a thousand came back here. In these neighborhoods you will find many synagogues and the second oldest cemetery in Poland of the 16th century.

Krakov – cesta k wawelskému hradu. Next to the city is another noteworthy object – one of the first salt mines of Wieliczka. In its dungeons labyrinths were created in massifs of salt, small salt ponds, salt sculptures cause surprise. There is even a restaurant and a sanatorium.

As for public transport, it is best to leave your car somewhere on the outskirts and then travel by tram or minibus or on fiakre, which is more popular with tourists. Traveling in a carriage will be romantic, and the driver will certainly show the most interesting places in the city. We traveled by car, which we greatly regretted. We had to stray along the one-way streets and dead ends before we got to the fortress. Under its walls, I still had to leave the car in the parking lot and continue on foot. We were not able to save on parking.
Krakov – arkádové nádvoří wawelského hradu.

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