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About Krakow

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Krakow – magical city

Krakow – the former royal capital of Poland, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and one of the best tourist destination. The entire medieval Krakow Old Town was among the first sites chosen for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, with the largest Main Square considered to be the most beautiful square in the world. Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest in Europe – established in 1364. Krakow became distinguished center for business, conventions, festivals and artistic events. It is a city of many museums, music clubs, cafés and restaurants with astonishing climate and excellent cuisine. All of that attract millions of visitors from all over the world every year.

On the website below, you can find many practical information useful for tourists in Krakow.

http://www.krakow.pl/english/visit_krakow/2601,glowna.html

Krakow is particularly associated with Chinese medicine in Poland. In 1643 Michał Piotr Boym – a graduate of the Jagiellonian University and Jesuit, went for a mission to China. He studied Chinese medicine on the imperial court of Yongli – the last emperor of the Ming dynasty. Yongli made him a deputy to the pope. He was the first European, who had moved knowledge of Chinese medicine to Europe. He was also the one, who published the first works on the subject (Flora Sinensis, Vien, 1656, Specimen medicinae Sinicae, ed. post-mortem, 1682).
One of the first ten dissertations on Chinese medicine in Europe had been defended in Krakow in 1830 at the Jagiellonian University. Józef Domaszewski dedicated it to acupuncture.
The very first TCM teaching in Poland started in 1986 in Krakow. It successfully continues until now in the Institute of Chinese Medicine and Health Prophylaxis. Moreover, Polish Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine was founded here. Finally, Krakow has the largest Chinese Medicine Centre in Poland, which employs 19 specialists offering full scope of TCM methods.

We would like to recommend you some restaurants in the Krakow centre.

 

Polish cuisine

Browar Lubicz – ul. Lubicz 17 J

Jarema – Pl. Matejki 5

Kurka Wodna – ul. Kanonicza 15

W Starej Kuchni – ul. Tomasza 8

Morskie Oko – Pl. Szczepański 8

Chłopskie Jadło – ul. Św. Jana 3

Pod Aniołami – ul. Grodzka 35

 

Oriental restaurants

Indus Tandoor – ul. Sławkowska 13-15

Pod Norenami – ul. Krupnicza 6

Hot Chilli – ul. Pijarska 9

Edo Sushi Bar – ul. Bożego Ciała 3

Edo Fusion Asian Cusine – ul. Miodowa 3

Taco Mexicano – ul. Poselska 20

 

Vegetarian food

Restauracja Hotelu Wielopole – ul. Wielopole 3

Pod Norenami – ul. Krupnicza 6

Chimera – ul. Św. Anny 3

Momo Bar – ul. Grzegórzecka 49

Green Day – ul. Mikołajska 14

Glonojad – Pl. Matejki 2

Green Way – ul. Krupnicza 22

Krakow, called the Culture Capital of Poland, has many known museums and great art & craft collections.
The most famous are:

  • Kings Castle on Wawel Hill with several great exhibitions. On Wawel Hill worth to see is also Gothic Kings Cathedral with kings tombs and Sigismunt Tower with famous, Polish biggest bell “Sigismunt” founded in 1520 by the king Sigismunt I the Old.
  • Museum of Jagiellonian University Collegium Maius is located in the oldest university building (Jagiellonska Street 13, only 12-15 min. walk from Hotel Europejski). It is the most amazing museum of the middle-age university. You must take full 1,5 hour tour which is guided in English only at 1:00 PM. Absolutely exciting! Only few tourists know it!
  • Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology – the world biggest collection of Japanese Art out of Japan. Manggha is one of the branches of National Museum in Krakow.
  • National Museum in Krakow is the main branch of Poland’s National Museum. It has many branches located in different places in the city. We are recommending:
    The Princes Czartoryski Museum – Polish biggest and most famous private art & craft collecions with the world famous portrait “Lady with an ermine” painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
    The Szołajski House – contains main collection of Polish famous Art Deco artist Stanislaw Wyspianski. Located at Plac Szczepanski 9, near Main Square (10-12 min. walk from Hotel Europejski).
    The Jan Matejko House – Polish famous painter’s family house, with his workshop. It is located at the Florianska Street 41 (6-7 min. walk from Hotel Europejski).
    The Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) – Gallery of 19-th Century Polish Art
  • MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow
    One of the most known Polish museums of contemporary art located near by the Schindler’s Factory Museum.
  • Historical Museum of the City of Krakow has many branches located in different places in the city. We are recommending:
    Rynek Underground – an exciting archaeological underground tour and exhibiton of ancient Main Square.
    Town Hall Tower locted on the Main Square
    The Hipolit House – Bourgeois House is located between Main Square and Small Square at the Plac Mariacki 3 (8-10 min. walk from Hotel Europejski).
    Celestat – the headquoter of the 7th century old the Marksmen Brotherhood located in Park Strzelecki (3-4 min. walk from Hotel Europejski).
  • The Cracow Museum of Pharmacy is the museum of  of Jagiellonian University Medical College (the oldest medical school in Poland). It is located at the Florianska street 25 (5-7 min. walk from Hotel Europejski).

 

The Mariacki Church – The archipresbyter’s Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is located in the north east corner of the Main Square. It is one of the most well-known buildings in Krakow and Poland:

  • In the presbytery is located the world biggest and most famous Gothic altar, the national treasure of Poland. It was made between 1477-1489 by famous sculptor – Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoss) from Nurnberg. Every day at 11:50 is the opening ceremony of the altar, which is worth to see.
  • From the taller watchtower “ Excubiarum” (82 metres high) is played St. Mary’s Trumpet Call called “hejnal”. It is played by the watchman (the fireman) every hour day and night, into for directions. It is the most known call in Poland, which is every day transmitted at 12:00 by Polish Radio. According a popular legend it is played since 1241.

You can find more information about mentioned museums and many others in the leaflet below.

The best of Krakow museums

We would like to recommend you some interesting events in Krakow and its area.

Concerts dedicated to the oeuvre of Fryderyk Chopin – iconic Polish composer, the genius of the piano. Concerts are organised regularly, all year round in the Bonerowski Palace.
Presented here are the best known Chopin’s works played by popular pianists: Witold Wilczek, Maria Baka-Wilczek, Dobrochna Krówka, Piotr Szczepanik, Kazuko Tsuji, among the others.

http://www.krakow.pl/english/kalendarium/6501,object,1,532605,,concerts_at_the_chopin_gallery.html | October

International Biennale of Architecture Kraków 2017 – the new edition of the Biennale is meant to inspire reflection, meditation, and to stir our imagination in the process of understanding, participating and creating the closest environment in the city. The subjest of Biennale 2017 is: „Backyard – Field of Imagination”

http://www.krakow.pl/english/kalendarium/6501,object,1,532741,,international_biennale_of_architecture_krakow_2017.html | 12 – 13th of October

Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival – a true feast for readers, who can take part in meetings with the authors, literary workshops and debates. The festival also features concerts and theatre performances.

http://en.conradfestival.pl/, | 2nd half of October

International Bobbin Lace Festival – the festival cultivates the tradition of making bobbin laces and takes place in the Polish lace making “capital”: the village of Bobowa. The event attracts lace makers from, among other countries, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine, Italy and England.

http://www.ck.bobowa.pl, | October

Sacrum Profanum Festival – an international project that has earned the status of one of the most interesting European music events. The festival presents newest music and is aimed at blurring the line between contemporary music, often treated as difficult and incomprehensible, and the developments of ambitious entertainment and the experimental scene. Its importance is created, on one hand, by the participation of the best ensembles playing contemporary music, e.g. Ensemble Modern, Alarm Will Sound, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, and, on the other hand, by the presence of stars of the world alternative scene, including Aphex Twin, Jónsi, Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Kraftwerk and Sigur Rós.

http://sacrumprofanum.com/about-festival | October

KRAKOW – the city

We would like to invite you to visit Krakow – a city that re-confirms its distinguished status among the most beautiful, most interesting and most fashionable cities in the world every day of the year.

There are many beautiful and interesting places in the city, which are worth to be seen and below we recommend you some of them.

The main market square – the largest Medieval square in Europe.

The old city – the oldest and most beautiful part of the city.

The Wawel Castle – the most important and beautiful Polish castle, which was the residence of many Polish kings.

Kazimierz – an old Jewish district, which captivates with its narrow streets, trade squares, small townhouses, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries and many cheerful restaurants and caffee houses.

Nowa Huta – a district established in communist’s times, with its clear urban layout and social-realist architecture relied upon models of local
Renaissance and Baroque architecture, as well as the American concept of
the so-called “neighbour unit”. Today Nowa Huta experiences its renascence and is very popular among foreign tourists.

The Krakow Industrial Heritage Route – an urban tourist trail, the first of this kind in Poland. The trail includes 16 objects from the field of industry, transportation, power and gas production, protection against the flood and fire. All of them are marked by their exceptional historical and architectonical significance.

Following the paths of John Paul II – Krakow is the only city in the world with sites connected with almost the whole life of John Paul II. It is this city that remembers him as a student of Polish Philology, a workman, an actor, a poet, a seminarian, a young priest saying his first masses, a university instructor, a priest in charge of the pastoral care of students and families, a bishop, the Archbishop of Krakow and finally as the Head of the Catholic Church.

Krakow Trail of Saints – there is no other city in this part of Europe with so many graves of people recognised as saint or blessed by the Catholic Church. It was not without a reason that Jan Mucante, master of the ceremony in the delegation of Papal Legate Cardinal Gaetano, wrote in 1596: “If there was no Rome, Krakow would be Rome.” Currently, the local churches hold the earthly remains of nine saints, seven blessed and a similar number of Servants of God who died in an aura of sanctity.

More precise information about above mentioned tourst attractions and many others you can find in the leaflets below.

Three days in Krakow

The Krakow Industrial Heritage Route

Pilgrim’s guide to Krakow

 

KRAKOW – the area

Krakow is situated in Małopolska province – the area which is full of many beautiful places and attractions worth to visit. There are some of them listed  below.

Zakopane, 100 km from Krakow (the Tatra mountains) –   the highland capital of Poland is a centre of active leisure and recreation, located in the shadow of the Tatras, at the foot of the majestic, cross-crowned Giewont Mount.  Zakopane is a starting point for hiking trips in the picturesque valleys of the Tatras, and for mountain hikes to the rocky peaks.

Underground Kingdom of Salt in Wieliczka and Bochnia, 15 km from Krakow  – the Salt Mine in Wieliczka was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. The Underground Tourist Route is nearly 3 km long and is between 64 and 135 m deep. It leads through over 22 most beautiful chambers created in the 13th-century mine, among salt sculptures and underground lakes.

Ojcowski National Park, 30 km from Krakow –  located north of Kraków, is one of the smallest national parks in Poland. Despite its size, it is home to Poland’s richest vascular plant communities, bat colonies, and outstanding rock forms. The most spectacular is the Prądnik River Valley: a sheer gallery of karst works.

Pieniński National Park, 120 km from Krakow – one of the oldest national parks in Poland.  Together with its Slovakian counterpart, it protects the main Pieniny Mountain Range from Czorsztyn to Szczawnica, featuring the impressive rocky peaks of Three Crowns (the highest peak in the park, 982 m above sea level), Sokolica, Czerteź, and Czertezik Mountains, and the unique Dunajec River Gorge meandering amidst the limestone rocks of the Pieniny Mountains. Moreover, the protected area also includes the rare thermophilic rock plants and plant communities of high natural value, which contain relict pinewoods. The most pleasant way of visiting Pieniński National Park is the Dunajec River Gorge rafting.

Eternally living castles – the medieval Małopolska was first and foremost the capital district and the residence of knighthood. It was also a frontier region, bordering on the Kingdom of Hungary in the south and on Silesia in the west. After all, several important trade routes to Hungary, Ruthenia, and Silesia ran through Małopolska. All these factors were conducive to the construction of many castles, royal mansions, magnates’ manors, frontier strongholds and trade route watchtowers in the area. One of these eternally living castles is – the castle in Korzkiew, the 14th-century knights’ fortress which is situated 17 km from Kraków. Nowadays, it is possible to rent a suite in a castle’s hotel, which offers a romantic atmosphere of its medieval chambers and cloisters.

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, 60 km from Krakow –  is a shocking memorial site and an evidence of the cruelty of Nazi criminals. Here, in Oświęcim, and in the nearby Brzezinka, a huge concentration camp, and an extermination camp, was founded. Presently it is inscribed on the UNESCO list as “Auschwitz-Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–1945)”.

More information about mentioned above attractions and others more you can find in leaflets below.

Malopolska – tourist’s attractions

Weekend in Małopolska

UNESCO – World Heritage Trail

Wooden Architecture Route in Małopolska

National parks, native reserves in Małopolska

Living castles in Małopolska

Museums in Małopolska

The joy of water in Małopolska

Sancturaries and places of worship in Małopolska

Małopolska – for health and beauty

Agroturism in Małopolska

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