Emerged in the XIII century, the Old Town, "the Polish Florence", is rather small and it will take approximately half an hour to go round on foot. Old streets and buildings are located here around central Rynek Glowny Square , which is, together with Piazza San Marco in Venice, known as the largest medieval square in Europe. The compact center of the city is surrounded by the green area of Planty . The southwest side of the city is the location of Wawel Castle that has been the residence of Polish kings for centuries. If you go further to the south, you will reach the Vistula.
Wawel Castle Ensemble is the most important symbol of Krakow. It was built in the center of a limestone hill, and many years ago it was the family seat of the Polish dynasty of Piast. This was the place from which the fate of Poland was decided for six centuries, because Krakow was the capital of Poland in the XVII century. Of course, a large number of legends are connected to the church. The most famous one tells us about the "Wawel Dragon". This legend is still told to children throughout the country. It tells about a dragon that lived in a cave under the castle and that kept the whole city in fear. Only the brave shoemaker’s apprentice was able to stop it. He filled a sheepskin with sulfur and placed it on wooden legs in front of the lair of the dragon. The monster swallowed the “sheep” and died. The king offered the apprentice any award he wished, and the guy decided to make boots from the leather of the defeated dragon. Even nowadays, anyone can enter the world of legends and fairy tales by visiting the cave in which the evil dragon lives as before. However, this time it’s present only in the form of a statue.
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