Metropolis with much charm, culture and history

Categories: Cracow Poland

The Vistula city of Krakow (Kraków) has an above-average young population of approximately three-quarters of a million people, making it the most populous city in Poland after Warsaw. The 325 sqkm city is the centre of the southern Polish voivodeship of Lesser Poland, which borders on Slovakia. From 1038 to 1596 Krakow was the Polish capital. After the Third Polish Partition (1795) Poland was dissolved as a state and Krakow became Austrian. From 1815 to 1846 the city had the status of a semi-autonomous small republic and became the centre of the Polish national movement.
Cracow - Wawel Castle © TTstudio / Fotolia

During World War II, Krakow was the seat of the German annex of the Generalgouvernement. This blackest period of the city's history is commemorated by the memorials at the places of horror in and around Krakow, such as the Krakow Ghetto with the Fabryka Schindlera Museum, Plaszow Concentration Camp and Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Oswiecim). Even many Gdanskers and Warsawers admit that Cracow is Poland's most beautiful city. Unlike many other cities in the country, Krakow has been largely spared destruction in recent centuries.

Especially the Old Town with the famous four-hectare Rynek Glowny Market Square, lined with numerous architectural monuments, is of extraordinary attractiveness. The cloth halls on Rynek Glowny as well as the adjacent Church of St. Mary, which is considered a landmark of Krakow, and the town hall tower are among the most important sights of the city. Famous is also the Wawel ensemble built on a hill with the Royal Castle and Cathedral, the burial place of many Polish kings. The city is not only a successful business location, but also an important educational centre.

More than 100,000 students are enrolled at over two dozen universities and other educational institutions. The foundation stone for the Jagiellonian University was laid here at the end of the 14th century. Celebrities such as the science fiction author Stanislaw Lem, Pope John Paul II and Andrzej Duda, who has been President of Poland since 2015, studied at this oldest Polish university, which today has around 50,000 students. The density of educational institutions and the large number of students are also reflected in the extremely lively cultural and leisure offer of Krakow.
Krakow - The main square of Krakow© ilolab / Fotolia

Krakow is famous for its lively gastronomy and cabaret scene. Not only in the Kazimierz district with its Jewish quarter can Krakow's celebratory and fun culture be enjoyed in pubs, restaurants, cafés and dance halls. A cultural speciality of Krakow is literary cabaret. Among the summer highlights in Krakow's calendar of events are the Film Festival and the Jewish Cultural Festival. Several renowned theatres and museums round off the cultural offer. Tip: An excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, located 10 km south-east of Krakow.

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Wo befindet sich Crakow

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