What to See in Krakow (Poland)

By | July 8, 2022

Krakow is the former capital of Poland and one of the most beautiful European cities. Known since the 10th century, it was part of the Hansa, was the residence of the Polish kings, but the real heyday of Krakow falls on the 15th-17th centuries, when it was the capital of the then largest state in Europe. Today, it attracts many tourists with its rich traditions, beautiful monuments, world-class cultural events, great cafes and amazing atmosphere.

The Krakow Old Town was included by UNESCO in the list of the twelve most valuable monuments of the world cultural heritage.

According to ITYPEJOB, the main attractions of the city are Wawel, the historical residence of kings, St. Mary’s Church, the market, the Royal Road.

Wawel – This is the city center. It includes a royal castle, a cathedral and a system of castle fortifications. The complex is located on a hill surrounded by fortified walls. The old walls, although partially rebuilt, are perfectly preserved. The Royal Castle (X-XIII centuries) combines architectural elements of different styles and eras. It contains numerous treasures of Polish culture, among the most valuable exhibits is the Szczerbiec coronation sword and a unique collection of medieval tapestries made in Flanders.

One of the most revered churches in Poland is the Cathedral of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslas on Wawel (1359), in which Polish kings were crowned, and now the most valuable monuments of Poland are kept here, wonderful works of art and the rest of the kings, poets and folk heroes of the country. The chapel of Zygmunt (Sigismund) with the famous 11-ton bell “Zygmunt”, which sounds at turning points in the life of the Polish state, is distinguished by its special beauty.

St. Mary’s Church is the main shrine of medieval Krakow. Built in 1257, it was rebuilt in the 14th century and acquired a Gothic look. The main altar of St. Mary’s Church is its main attraction. This is the most significant work of late Gothic wooden sculpture in Poland., created in 1477-1489. Whit Stvosh. Jan Matejko also took part in painting the church. Another attraction of the St. Mary’s Church is the sundial, installed in 1954 on the site of the former ones that had been here since the 17th century. In addition to the hour, you can also find out the day of the year from them.

The main market square is the main square of Krakow where all roads lead. It is surrounded by stone houses and palaces. In the center of the square there are the former Sukiennice shopping malls, merged into one Renaissance building, and at the corner of Grodskaya Street there is the Church of St. Wojciech (X-XI centuries), which now houses the exposition of the archaeological museum dedicated to the market square. Also on the market are the Church of St. Barbara, the tower of the City Hall (XV century), which now houses a branch of the city historical museum and a theater in the basement, as well as the Gothic St. Mary’s Church (Church of the Virgin Mary, 1223), known throughout the country linden wood altarpiece by Wit Stwosz, considered the most valuable Gothic altarpiece in Europe (1477-1489).

Royal road – this is the path along which the monarchs traveled to Wawel with their retinue. Almost every house on this road is famous for something.

The old city is surrounded by boulevards – Planty, built on the site of the destroyed medieval fortifications, which previously numbered about fifty gates and towers. Within the Plant, the Florian Gate, the oldest buildings of the Jagiellonian University, the building of the former city arsenal, temples and monasteries, as well as the Barbican, the largest watchtower in Europe, are interesting. The Kazimierz quarter is very interesting – the medieval capital of the Jewish diaspora throughout Europe, as well as a major religious, scientific and cultural center.

Museums in Krakow deserve special attention. In addition to those already mentioned, it is worth mentioning the Czartoryski Museum, one of the oldest in Poland, Historical Museum Krakow, Exhibition of Weapons, Archaeological Museum, Gallery of Polish Painting and Sculpture of the 19th century in Sukiennice, Museum of the Jagiellonian University, Museum of Judaism, Center for Japanese Art and Technology “Mangha”, Town Hall Tower, Theater Gallery in the “House under the Cross”, gallery “Celestat”, Museum of Masterpieces on the street. Kanonicha, Ethnographic Museum on the street. Volnitsa, the Museum of Nature on St. Sebastian Street, the Museum of Folk Memory “Pharmacy under the Eagle” on the Ghetto Heroes’ Square, the Museum of Polish Aviation on the alley of John Paul II and many others.

There is a water park in Krakow, one of the largest in Europe. It has 8 slides, the largest of which has a length of 201 m and a height of 18.5 m, fountains, hydromassages, jacuzzis, geysers, a river pool and grottoes.

Krakow (Poland)