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Krakow

The city has always been known as free and independent. Even during the period of the partition of Poland, Krakow maintained its autonomy, and Polish culture and art were preserved and developed here. So it was after Poland gained independence in 1918, and when in 1945 the country became socialist.
It is worth walking along the narrow streets of the Old Town, going around its huge Market Square, visiting ancient churches, seeing the Royal Castle, dreaming over the Vistula, relaxing on the Planty, looking at the city from the height of its barrows.
Krakow is rich in attractions. For those who do not know Polish history (i.e., for ordinary tourists), the main ones are the Royal Castle, the Royal Road, the Mariacki Church, the Jagiellonian University, Planty, and barrows.
In terms of significance for the city and the country as a whole, the Royal (Wawel) castle can be compared with the Moscow Kremlin for Russia. Located on the high bank of the Vistula, the Wawel Castle includes a royal castle, a cathedral, and a system of castle fortifications. In the XIV century, under King Casimir the Great (1333-1370), when Krakow became the capital of the state, and later, under the rule of the Jagiellons, Wawel reaches its greatest prosperity. This situation continued until the transfer of the capital to Warsaw in 1609. The impetus for moving the royal court, by the way, was a fire in the Wawel Castle. King Sigismund III Waza decided not to restore it, but simply to move to Warsaw.
During the Second World War, the castle housed the residence of the German Governor General.
After passing through the royal gate to the castle territory, the first on the left you will see the Cathedral of Saints Stanislav and Wenceslas. This is the coronation cathedral, and the tomb of the Polish kings. It was built in the XI-XII centuries, but today from that time only a part of the Silver Bells Tower and the crypt of St. Leonard have been preserved, where, in particular, the Polish commander Jozef Pilsudski was buried.
Today’s Gothic-style building was built in the 14th century. In the center of the cathedral is the Altar of the Fatherland, on which the kings laid trophies. There are also royal stone sarcophagi and the tomb of Casimir Jagelon created by Vit Stvosh. One of the towers houses the largest bell in Poland, Sigismund. The Cathedral Museum is open in the chapter building.
The first thing that everyone draws attention to is the magnificent building of the Mariacki Church, the main shrine of medieval Krakow.
The first church in this place was wooden, and when it served its purpose, a new Romanesque church was erected in its place in 1221-1222, similar in size to today. But he was destroyed during the raid of the Tatars.
Later, the foundation of that church was partially used when the construction of a new church began in 1290, already in the Gothic style. That is why today it stands at an angle to the Market Square – after all, the old church was built before the introduction of the location plan. The first thing that everyone draws attention to is the magnificent building of the Mariacki Church, the main shrine of medieval Krakow.
The first church in this place was wooden, and when it served its purpose, a new Romanesque church was erected in its place in 1221-1222, similar in size to today. But he was destroyed during the raid of the Tatars.
Later, the foundation of that church was partially used when the construction of a new church began in 1290, already in the Gothic style. That is why today it stands at an angle to the Market Square – after all, the old church was built before the introduction of the location plan. In the 14th century, the building was rebuilt and acquired a Gothic style.
The large tower has a height of 81 meters. In the Middle Ages it was a watchdog, and acquired an octagonal end in 1478; white crown added in 1664.
There is a beautiful legend about why the towers of the church are different, but let this legend about two building brothers be better told to you in Krakow.
From the high signal tower every morning the trumpeter announced the beginning of the day, and that the city gates were opening, and every evening his signal announced the closure of the entrance to the city.
Another legend, rooted in the 14th century, is associated with the Krakow trumpeter. According to legend, the trumpeter was the first to notice the enemy approaching the city walls, and managed to signal a danger. But at the same time, he died, being hit by a Tatar arrow piercing his throat.

Krakow Planty is a park ring surrounding the Old Town (Stare Miasto). It arose on the site of the city walls that existed from the 13th to the 15th centuries, which were demolished by the decision of the Austrian authorities in 1810-1814 (after the partition of Poland, this part of Poland passed to Austria).

You can take a walk in the Jewish district of Kazimierz. Today it is one of the districts of Krakow, but until 1800 it was a separate city surrounded by the Vistula. The city also had defensive walls, which have hardly survived to this day, and their own town hall, etc.
The city of Kazimierz was founded in 1335 by King Casimir the Great, whose name is associated with its name.

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