KRAKOW’S HISTORIC CENTRE

SukienniceKrakow is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The whole complex of the Old Town together with the Wawel Castle and Kazimierz district was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

Krakow’s market square was the largest in medieval Europe. It is surrounded by marvelous tenement houses and in the middle of the square stands the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) which is one of the most distinctive buildings in Krakow. Krakow’s Old Town is full of monuments and historical buildings representing various styles. You will find there St. Mary’s Church with Europe’s largest Gothic wooden altar, splendid Renaissance courtyard of the Wawel Castle and the Art Nouveau stained glass windows in Franciscan Church. There was a chain of fortification walls surrounding the Old Town of Krakow but nowadays only the Barbican, the Florianska Gate and a few towers are their only remnants. The Gothic Barbican is probably the best preserved construction of its kind in Europe and it’s an impressive example of medieval defensive architecture.

It takes only a few minutes to walk from the Old Town square to the old Jewish district of Kazimierz. It was established in the 14th century and since the very beginning it was inhabited by the Jewish community. Until the Second World War, Kazimierz was a very important centre of the Jewish Diaspora. This is where the oldest surviving Jewish place of worship in Poland is located. The Old Synagogue is also one of the most precious examples of Jewish architecture in Europe and nowadays it houses the Jewish History Museum.
If you haven’t been in Krakow yet you should definitely go there and if you have already visited it you know that it would be a pity not to return!

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