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The Main Square is the natural centre of Krakow: a stage for various minor and major events, a reference point, a meeting place, and the starting point or destination for countless walkers. Historically speaking, the Main Square began to operate in a shape and size similar to what we see today (a square with 200-metre-long sides) already in the earliest days of the Chartered City, i.e. after the granting of the Great Royal Charter in 1257. The centrally located Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) was originally a commercial establishment for trading in cloth. Other buildings standing to this day in the heart of the Main Market Square include the diminutive Church of St Adalbert (also known as Wojciech) - a site of important archaeological discoveries, and the solitary tower - a remnant of the Town Hall demolished in the 19th century. In the north-eastern corner of the square stands St Mary's Church, frequently referred to as a basilica. With its two slender, spired towers reaching high above the whole city, it is one of Krakow's landmarks.



The Cloth Hall
For many centuries The Market Square was a large trading center and was covered with the network of stalls creating something like a trading village. The Cloth Hall - a large set of stalls was founded in the 13th century. Destroyed by fire it was rebuild in the Renaissance style. In the old times the cloth was sold in the hall on the ground floor, while various goods were offered on the floor above. Now you can buy souvenirs from Krakow, works of Polish artists, leather goods, silver jewelery and folk hadikrafts. The upper floor houses the Gallery of Polish 19th Century Art.



Florianska Street forms the first half of the ceremonial Royal Road. It leads from the main city gate of the same name to the giant Grand Square and is closest thing to the principal street of Krakow. At 45 Florianska St. the Jama Michalika cafe (est. 1895) boasts period Art Nouveau decor. At no. 41 there is The House of Jan Matejko, the great 19th-century painter’s residence turned into a museum. At no. 25 the Pharmacy Museum, possibly Europe’s such biggest. The street ends at the foot of the 14th-century Gothic basilica of the Virhin Mary's, the city’s chief and biggest church. Every full hour the ancient Krakow Signal is trumpeted to the world’s four sides from its taller, crowned tower. The basilica overlooks the Grand Square, Europe’s largest medieval city square. In the last 800 years the Florianska street witnessed countless glorious processions: coronation, funeral, royal wedding, etc. Nowadays the former thoroughfare has been taken over by pedestrians who tolerate solely the old-fashioned horse omnibus that nowadays is just one of tourist attractions as a sightseeing vehicle. Florianska St. remains Krakow’s busiest shopping area.



Kanonicza Street - usually taken to access the famous Wawel Hill, is short and fairly narrow. Yet it is one of the most important and ancient streets of the city; a street whose look has hardly changed over the centuries - authentic and very much alive. Moreover, Kanonicza provides an example of favourable changes that have continued in Krakow in recent years: the complex restoration of city's heritage and preservation projects which unveil the city's true beauty layer by layer.



Grodzka Street from the 9th century on used to form an axis of Poland’s capital prior to the location of medieval city of Krakow around the Grand Square in 1257. Leading to Wawel Hill'sroyal castle and cathedral, the street has witnessed all kinds of processions passing by in step with history. One block down the Grodzka street from Krakow’s central square there is an open space flanked by two grand 13th-century temples. Left, the Gothic basilica of Holy Trinity dwarfs the adjacent Dominican monastery. Right, the Romanesque basilica of St. Francis' adjoins a Franciscan monastery. Both monasteries boast the 14th-century great cloisters full of art. The Franciscan one neighbors the 1560 Renaissance Wielopolskich Palace, Krakow’s city hall since 1865. Further down the street a charming plaza spreads before an ornate white facade of the imposing Jesuit Baroque church of St. St. Peter and Paul's of 1619 next to the grand Romanesque church of St. Andrew’s of c. 1090.



St. Mary's Basilica - is a Brick Gothic church re-built in the 14th century (originally built in the early 13th century), adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków. On every hour, a trumpet signal — called the heynal — is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city.



Wawel is an architectural complex erected over many centuries atop a limestone outcrop on the left bank of the Vistula River in K raków at an altitude of 228 metres above the sea level.
This is a place of great significance for the Polish people. The Royal Castle with an armoury and the Cathedral are situated on the hill. Polish Royalty and many distinguished Poles are interred in the Wawel Cathedral. Royal Coronations took place there also.
In the castle's many chambers, exhibitions that simply cannot be missed await you: royal chambers and stately rooms, collections of Oriental art and military trophies, collections of Flemish tapestries of amazing beauty, as well as archaeological specimens.



The Bishop's Palace in Krakow is a must-see for fans of the late Pope John Paul II, who lived here as the Archbishop of Kraków until his elevation to pope in 1978. Housed in the palace is the Archdiocesan Museum, which is also centered around the building's illustrious former resident. Above the stately entrance in the yellow-hued facade is the famous window from where the Pope would welcome the youth of Krakow as they arrived to meet him.



The Czartoryski Museum
The collection, assembled by Izabela Czartoryska in the years 1801-1830 and by Wladyslaw Czartoryski in the 1840s and 1880s, first opened to the public in the nineteenth century. Initially exhibited at Pulawy, where Duchess Izabela had the first ever museum created in Poland, it was later moved to Cracow and became known as the Czartoryski Museum and Library. In 1950 the two establishments were taken over by the state and incorporated into the National Museum in Cracow. In 1991 Adam Czartoryski set up the Czartoryski Princes' Foundation and presented the holdings to the Polish nation. At present the Library and the art collection operate as two separate divisions of the National Museum in Krakow in their two respective locations.



The Stanislaw Wyspianski Museym in Szłayski House - The house of the Szołayski family was built in Krakow in the 14th century and extended in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was willed to the National Museum in Krakow by Włodzimiera and Adam Szołayski in 1904, and made available for use in 1928. Initially (from 1934 onwards) it housed the Feliks ‘Manggha’ Jasieński Department, and after WWII the Gallery of Medieval Art was installed there.
The Museum is devoted to Stanisław Wyspiański and Feliks ‘Manggha’ Jasieński. The collection of Wyspiański’s drawings, sketches and designs as well as biographical material and documentation are accessible for research purposes. The ground-floor showrooms are intended for temporary shows, mainly relating to the period of Young Poland. This part of the Museum’s activity was inaugurated by the exhibition entitled As Time Goes By, As Nights Go By, Or From The National Museum To The Mad Cabaret, which recalled the Zielony Balonik cabaret.



Collegium Maius – is a part of Jagiellonian University (one of the oldest in Europe). The Collegium Maius now serves as the museum of the Jagiellonian University, the seat of the University's Senate and a conference center. Also, the most important of the University's guests are greeted in the Collegium Maius. Over the years it was visited by the Japanese emperor and his wife, Margaret Thatcher and Pope Jan Paul II among others.
The Museum of the Jagiellonian University is a chance to see inside the life of a medieval academic community. The exhibits - medieval scientific instruments, globes, furniture, paintings, coins and medals – are shown in rooms that are still marked by their original functions. They include the lecture halls, the Stuba Communis (a common room for the professors), and a library.


 
The Barbican - The seven turrets of the Krakow Barbican may make you think you are approaching the castle of a good sorcerer, but some five hundred years ago the Barbakan was an important part of Cracow's fortifications, and deadly projectiles were cast at anyone who dared to threaten the Polish capital. The three rows of t>he Barbican's loopholes were filled with archers or riflemen whose shots wrecked havoc amongst the enemy lines. Along with the City Walls, the Barbican made Krakow an impregnable fortress.



The Remuh Synagogue - is the smallest of all historic synagogues of the Kazimierz district of Krakow. It is currently the only active synagogue in the city. The Remuh Synagogue is named after Rabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), known by the Hebrew acronym REMA, the famous author of Ha-Mappah, about Jewish religious traditions and customs. The synagogue was built in 1553, adjacent to the newly established Jewish cemetery, today known as the Old Cemetery. The original building was destroyed by fire and in 1557 a new building was erected. Since then the synagogue has been rebuilt and restored a few times.



The Remuh (Remu) Cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery of Krakow, at the same time one of the oldest Europe’s Jewish cemetery. It is located in the district of Kazimierz, just next to Remuh Synagogue. One can get the place from Szeroka Street, through the gate in the wall.  Established in 1533, the first tombstones appeared in 1552. In 1800 the Austrian authorities, eliminating all downtown cemeteries for health reasons, closed the cemetery. In spite of this, burials happened here till the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century the Jewish community began the process of cemetery renovation.  Unfortunately, during the Second World War the burial-ground was subject to considerable destruction, because Nazis arranged a waste dump within its area. Only few tombstones survived the war . In 1959 the cemetery was a place of archaeological work resulted in finding hundreds of entire and fragments of stone tombstones. Over 700 tombstones, steles and sarcophagi were rearranged.   The fragments of tombstones were embedded in the inner surface of cemetery wall. Thus, the so-called Wailing Wall was created.



The New Jewish Cemetery - In 1800 the Jewish community of Krakow began attempts to build a new cemetery, because the Austrian authorities closed Remuh Cemetery. The New Jewish Cemetery at Miodowa Street was established on the land bought from the Augustinians. It was extended many times in the years 1836, 1864, and 1899. Since 1932 only persons who previously bought a site have been buried there. During World War II the cemetery was closed. At that time Nazis sold to stonemasons many valuable funerary monuments. After the war part of the monuments have been restored. After World War II the cemetery has become a burial place for the last Krakow’s Jews.
Currently the cemetery has a surface area of 19 hectares. There are over 10,000 tombstones, the oldest of which dates back to 1809.



The Nowy Square – also known as „jewish square”. However, it is not the development standing along its sides that is most characteristic here, but the so-called okrąglak: the round structure built in 1899-1900 as roofed traders stalls. In 1927, the Jewish community adapted a part of it for the ritual slaughterhouse for poultry. The second world war changed the character of the square and the slaughterhouse was closed. Fortunately, the traditional small traders returned here after the second world war.



Oskar Shindler's enamel dish factory - When Krakow's Podgórze district became the site of the Jewish Ghetto for Krakow's huge Jewish population, many Germans set up businesses in the area in an attempt to profit from the Nazi invasion of Poland. Oskar Schindler was such a man, but in the end he came to save the lives of over 1,100 Jews that worked in his factory, often at great risk to his own life and at personal expense.



The Gettho Heroes Square established in march 1941 in Podgórze.15 thousands of Krakow’s Jews were forced to live here, flocked in 320 houses. Plac Bohaterow Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square) was the witness of the liquidation of the Krakow’s ghetto on the13-14th March 1943. Here the last way of Cracow’s Jews started – they were transported to the Nazi camps. Most of them died in the extermination camp in Belzec. In the Square there is a small museum of the ghetto Apteka pod Orlem (Pharmacy under the Eagle). It commemorates also the owner of the pharmacy Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who helped Jews in the ghetto. He was given the tilte of Righteous Among The Nations.















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