The ancient Krakow is surely on of the most beautiful cities not only in Poland, but in whole Europe. The magnificent metropolis that lies on the bank of the Vistula River is well known for its historical and cultural monuments: there you can find at about 500 medieval buildings and more than 2 million art works. More than that, in Krakow takes place a lot of annual festivals. People say that this city has a magical power.
The Old City of the 13th century or as it's called 'The Polish Florence' can be walked over just in half an hour. The ancient streets and buildings are situated around the Main Market Square, which along with the St Marco Square in Venice is the largest medieval square in Europe. The centre is surrounded by the green zone Planty, in the south-western part of which the Wawel castle is located. It used to be the residence of Polish kings. Further to the south the city is rounded by the Vistula River.
The Wawel Castle.
The Wawel architectural ensemble is the most important symbol of Krakow. It was built in the center of the limestone hill and used to be the residence of such historical figures as Casimir III the Great, Jogaila and Jadwiga of Poland. It was the place, where during 6 centuries the fortune of Poland was being decided, because Krakow was the capital of Poland till the 17th century. Of course there are a lot of legends connected with the castle. The most famous of them, 'The Legend about the Wawel Dargon' is still told children all over the country. It tells about a dragon, who lived in the cave under the castle and kept frightened the whole city. Only the brave apprentice of a shoemaker managed to put an end to it: he stuffed a ship's fell with sulfur, attached the wooden legs to it and placed in front of the dragon's den. The monster ate it and died. The king suggested that the apprentice chose any price and he willed to have the boots made of the dragon leather. Nowadays tourists can get into the world of legends and fairy tales by visiting the cave, where still lives the dragon, but only as a statue.
Read further: Krakow cityguide
This article about Krakow is written by the orangesmile.com editorial team and is protected by the copyright law. The article can only be re-used with a direct link to www.orangesmile.com