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Facts about Cracow

Cracow is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Poland and even in the world. It is a magical place which has become famous because of  its large quantity of monuments and museums. Every stone in Cracow has its own history. There are over 2,5 million works of art in the museums, churches and archives of Cracow – that is one of the causes why the city was placed on UNESCO’s First World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1978.

Cracow was the royal capital of Poland in former times. The seat of kings was located in Wawel Royal Castle on Wawel Hill. Nowadays the Castle is a museum. The exhibition includes Royal Private Apartments, State Rooms, Crown Treasury and Armoury. On the Wawel Hill you can also see the Wawel Cathedral which is the place of royal coronations and burials.

   
The city is well known  for the the Main Market Square which is the largest medieval town square in Europe (200m x 200m). In the middle of the square are the  (Cloth Hall) – an old trading hall with a long tradition of sellig e.g. amber products.    

 

Cracow is also the city of churches. One of the smallest churches is St. Wojciech’s, located on the Market Square nearby the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall). Some steps further, on the east side of the square, there is the largest and most known church in Cracow – St. Mary’s Basilica. It is particularly famous for the wooden altarpiece carved by Wit Stwosz in 15th century. St. Mary’s Basilica is also well known for its two towers that can be seen from every place in the centre of Cracow. From the top of the taller tower a trumpet signal (called Hejnal) is played on every hour.    

 

Cracow is a major centre of education. Jagiellonian University, the oldest in Poland is located here. It was founded in 14th century by the king Casimir III. The oldest building, Collegium Maius, is a museum nowadays. Here you can find belongings of  famous students such as Nicolaus Copernicus, John Paul II and other outstanding Poles.  

 

In the southern part of the city you can find the old Jewish district of Cracow. Nowadays you can see seven synagogues, and one of them The Synagogue Remuh is still active. Another place worth seeing is the old Jewish Cemetery from 15th century.

Culturally rich Cracow is bursting with the most spellbinding and historic buildings and sights.  Wherever you go, you will certainly discover places well worth-seeing and hear stirring stories of the city’s magnificent past.

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