Krakow : Experience the Vibrant Landscape

Krakow : Experience the Vibrant Landscape

Krakow is a city located in South Poland and is an interesting mix of culture, medieval renaissance styled architecture and vast expanse of vibrant landscapes. The colorful alleys of the city lined with quaint townhouses and the Gothic cathedrals make the city a paradise for every traveler. The city has a very interesting history that leaves you enthralled with stories of kings, queen and their kingdom. The legendary castle makes it a fairy tale destination and a wonderful trip for all the memories.

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Krakow : Experience the Vibrant Landscape

1. Wieliczka Salt Mine

The salt mine is located in Southern Poland and is within the metropolitan area of Krakow that was established in the 13th century. The mine was involved in the production of table salt till 2007 and is one of the oldest salt mines in the world. It was given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its profound operations. It is a pretty interesting place to tourist and is one of the Historic Monuments of Poland where the inside is adorned with statues, four chapels carved out of rock salt and sculptures made of rock salt.

2. Wawel Cathedral

It is a royal arth cathedral is a Roman catholic church perched on the Wawel Hill and is almost 900 years old. The Gothic architecture of the cathedral is very impressive with main altar located in the apse. The choir has double aisles and the main altar stands on a tall canopy on a black marble that is supported by four pillars. It is the main burial sites for Polish Monarchs since 14th century and the current cathedral is the 3rd time it is rebuilt after its partial destruction twice.

3. Main Square

Locally it is known as Rynek Glowny and is one of the major attractions while travelling Krakow. The glory of the place lies in the fact that it is world’s largest medieval market area and located in the center of the Old Town. It is an iconic location and is mostly chaotic with hustle bustle of travelers and locals. It dates back to around 13th century and is a lively street with number of hotels, cafes, etc. in and around. It is surrounded by townhouses and churches and the center of the Square has Renaissance style cloth hall.

4. St. Mary’s Basilica

Photo by RossHelen/

It is also known as the Church of our Lady Assumed into Heaven and is Gothic church with brick architecture. It is located adjacent to the Main Market Square and was built in the 14th century. It displays excellent Polish Gothic architecture and is popular for the intricate and detailed wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stos. It was founded by Bishop of Krakow, Iwo Odrowaz in 1221-22 and has been rebuilt again in the 13th century. The main attraction is two bells at different heights of different style and the wooden altarpiece.

5. Oskar Schlindler’s Factory

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The factory is no longer operational but is a former metal item factory and currently home to two museums. It houses the Museum of Contemporary Art and Historical Museum of the City. It was established by three Jewish businessmen and was involved in the production of wire, mesh and various iron products. However now the factory stands like a museum that gives an insight of what use to happen before. The company had to shut down due to reducing financial conditions.

6. Wawel Castle

The glorious and absolutely stunning castle is located centrally in Krakow and it was built by King Casimir III the Great. The Italian inspired courtyard of the castle and the European architectural style is a complete depiction of medieval style. It is tucked on the Wawel Hill and was declared the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1978. The castle has huge collection of Renaissance paintings, prints, sculptures, tapestry work, arms, ceramic, etc. along with largest collection of Ottoman tents in Europe. It helped in conservation of art work.

7. Kosciuszko Mound

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It is an erected mound by the Cracovians in commemoration of Polish leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko. It is an artificial mound and the top can be reached walking through a serpentine path. It is located around 1070 ft above the sea level and offers a spectacular view of the Vistula River and the whole of the city. The memorial mound is one of the popular sight-seeing places in Krakow and the base of the inscriptions has number of inscriptions. There is a museum next to the mound dedicated to the Poland leader.

8. Krakow Barbican

Photo by David Berkowitz

It is a fortified gate or outpost that connected to the city walls before and has a number of historical significance. It is the gateway into the medieval and old town of Krakow and is one of the remaining iconic relics. It was used as defensive barrier which protected the royal city of Krakow. It is a Gothic styled gate that was built in the year 1497 and is one of the three fortified surviving European outposts. The architecture and engineering of the outpost is extremely interesting and worth the appreciation.

9. National Museum

Photo by Jorbasa Fotografie

The National Museum was established in the year 1879 and has number of branches scattered across Poland. However this is the main branch of the National Museum that has permanent collection of many art and artifacts from across the country. The museum consist total of around 21 departments that are segregated into 11 galleries, 2 libraries and 12 conservation workshops. The museum currently houses around 780,000 products ranging from modern to classic archaeological era. The wide range of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts is very fascinating.

◎ Closing

Krakow is one of the most fascinating cities in Poland where age old and medieval architectures and structures are reserved till date. It is a perfect amalgamation of modern with ancient and old that glorifies the whole of the city.