Krakow City Information
The city on the Vistula River, for five centuries the capital of Poland, has accumulated one fourth of Poland’s total number of museum artefacts. A visit to Krakow is a meeting with the most glorious era in our history. Krakow’s Old Town with Wawel and the Kazimierz district were placed on the first World Heritage List, created by the UNESCO in 1978. It should be remembered that this prestigious recognition had then been awarded to only 12 of the most famous world heritage sites, including the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China. Today the list contains almost 700 sites.
The Main Market Square Surrounds
The historic architecture and medieval urban layout have survived in the surrounds of the Main Market Square. Many architectural landmarks that recall the ancient past now house smart shops, elegant restaurants and cafes, which make sightseeing in the old town a real pleasure.
Wawel Hill was the centre of the Wi?lanie state before the state of Poland was established. The Piast dynasty settled here no earlier than the late 10th c. The first king to have his coronation at Wawel was Ladislaus the Elbow-High in 1320. According to archaeologists, in the Middle Ages there were as many asseven Gothic churches on the hill and numerous other buildings, which were later destroyed. The Rotunda of SS Felix and Adauctus and Romanesque elements of cathedral vaults are believed to be the oldest landmark on the hill (ca. 950). Elements of old structures are displayed at the exhibition “Wawel which is no more”, along with a computer presentation.
Kazimierz was established by King Casimir (Kazimierz) the Great as a separate town. In the late 15th c. an autonomous Jewish district was established here. Depopulated and dilapidating after the Second World War, the district is currently recovering its original splendour. It is the second largest, interesting complex of Jewish historic architecture after Josefov in Prague. Its historic centre is Wolnica Square but social and cultural life focuses around Nowy Square and Szeroka Street.