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Cracow - a city with history

One of the most beautiful Polish cities, with a tradition dating back 1000 years. Anyone who has been to this city at least once will not forget the impression left by the surroundings of the old castle walls, the Wawel hill with the dragon cave stretching just above the lazy river, the slowly flowing river Vistula, the charming market with the beautiful St. Mary's Church and plenty of well-kept greenery.

It is difficult to talk about monuments in Cracow, because almost the entire city is one big monument. Maybe it would be advisable to only exclude modern housing estates, but still the entire city center is worth admiring during family walks.

Cracow is first of all a city of churches. There are more than 120 of them in the city itself, and most are historic buildings dating back hundreds of years. Apart from St. Mary's Church on the main square, there are admirable 14th-century buildings of the Church of Corpus Christi, St. Catherine of Alexandria’s Church and St. Margaret’s, Cathedral of St. Wenceslas and St. Stanislas, a number of 11th-century churches and older, built already after the transfer of the capital.

Obviously, the city center is the most important and largest square, the Main Market Square. It is here that you can admire the famous Cloth Hall, St. Mary's Church, the Town Hall Tower, the St. Wojciech’s Church and around 40 medieval townhouses. Particularly noteworthy is the Cloth Hall, which was the first shopping center in the city's history. The name comes from cloth stalls, built on the order of Boleslaw the Chaste as a series of stone structures separated by alleys. The building was rebuilt in the 16th century, and the then architect gave it a more artistic look, adding the arcade attic and gargoyles. The main square of Cracow is complete with the Small Market Square with a number of historic buildings.

The city is still surrounded by the remains of the walls, including the Barbican. There is also the famous Florian Gate and several preserved bastions.

Wawel

Wawel is a very specific place, which has been connecting the nation as a symbol for generations. There is no other such characteristic building in Poland, and although Warsaw has been the capital of Poland for 400 years now, in the minds of the compatriots, Wawel is a symbol of royal authority and a witness of the development of Polishness. Towering over the city, looking down from its limestone hills, it represents the strength and importance of the country at the height of its glory.

The castle was originally wooden, and its stone walls began to rise in the eleventh century, beginning with the Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the present chapel. Over the course of several centuries, the stone walls replaced the wooden ones, and after the fire in the 15th century the Wawel Castle was rebuilt completely. Today you can admire its towers: Sandomierz Tower, Senator Tower, Thieves’ Tower, Heraldic Tower and the Tower of the Vases, the Sobieski Tower or Leonard's Crypt.

Cracow Technical Trail

Cracow also offers its guests the unique opportunity to learn the history of the technological development in various fields, such as fire brigades, gas, electrification, communication and bridge building.

The Cracow Technical Trail includes 16 buildings located in the very heart of the city and its immediate vicinity, distinguished for their exceptional historical and architectural significance. Most of these buildings were erected at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, but apart from architectural values there are also museum collections that allow familiarizing yourself with the techniques of the time.

The Trail includes such facilities as railway station, Schindler’s factory, suburban power station, city gas station, bridges Podgórski and Piłsudskiego, railway viaduct at Górzecka, fire station, city theater power station, road passage, the Zieleniewscy Forge, Cracow’s power station, historical tram depot, Vistula Boulevards, Gotz Family Brewery and several others.

Parks and gardens

In Cracow, as in every major city, there are urban parks are available, but the one that is particularly well-known in Poland is the Cracow Planty. It is a city park in Cracow, surrounding the Old Town, founded in 1822-1830. Planty was built on the site of the fortifications surrounding the city: the ramparts and the moat and earth rolls on their front.

Outside the city center are two other famous and popular parks: The Polish Airmen Park and the Jordan Park. Both have playgrounds, bike paths and rollerblading paths. In the Airmen Park, there is also a special Experimental Garden, where experimental plantings are made. In turn, the Jordan Park is decorated with a small pond, where you can sail a boat, and concert shell.

In Cracow you cannot forget about the Vistula Commons and the botanical and zoological gardens.

Other attractions

For tourists and locals wishing to relax there is the Water Park in Cracow. There are three swimming pools with an area of 2 thousand square meters, which qualifies the park as the biggest in the country. Additional water attractions are plenty, including various whirlpool hot tubs, fiery rivers, countercurrents and saunas.

There are also facilities for water sports: basketball, volleyball and water polo, as well as rainbow paths, of course, 8 different water slides.

There will also be something for shopping amateurs. Cracow has a multitude of shopping malls and shopping centers, and the most famous are Bonarka City Center and Galeria Cracowska, with about 270 open shopping and dining outlets and multi-screen cinemas.

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