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Poland
Poland - Map

Krakow

Located on the banks of the Vistula River, the city of Krakow is one of the essential visits on a trip to Poland. It was founded by Prince Krak (hence its name Kraków) from the hill of Wawel, where his famous castle is located along with the city’s Cathedral. Just below is the dragon statue, one of the protagonists of his legend that tells that the only knight capable of finishing him was a shoemaker who offered him a sheep full of sulfur. Once devoured, the dragon came to drink water from the Vistula and died. In the epicentre of the city, in the busy market square, you can also hear learn of the legend of Saint Mary, one of the best-known images of Krakow. Every hour, the trumpet sounds to the rhythm of HejnaƂ Mariacki, a traditional Polish melody reminiscent of the trumpeter killed during the Tartar invasions. The Market Square is medieval in style and it is the best preserved in Europe. Underneath it, ancient prisons and torture rooms are located.

Although Krakow was affected by the Jewish Holocaust that took place during World War II, the city suffered little material damage. Today, these black pages of history can be discovered through a walk around Kazimierz and Podgórze, Jewish Krakow wherein the second of them the ghetto was created and where the well-known factory of Oskar Schindler is located. Converted into a museum, today it is one of the essential visits on a trip to Krakow. Other essential places are the university, the oldest in Poland; and the palace of the Archdiocese, where the window from where John Paul II used to say goodnight to the parishioners when he visited the city, is located.

 

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