Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
Krakow is the former capital of Poland and the seat of Polish Royalty. Monuments from different epochs depict changes that the city went through and each building in the Old Town has its own history. During the WW II, when many Polish cities were devastated, Krakow stayed untouched gaining recognition among local and foreign tourists.
Throughout the years, however, people coming to Krakow started to appreciate not only the history of the city but also its ambience and cultural life.
Many visitors are especially fond of cosy cafes and pubs that one can go to while their stay in Krakow. Some are located in the cellars while others offer garden with a view over the Main Market Square. Each of them has its own atmosphere and loyal guests that love to spend there time reading a book or newspaper. Apart from the Old Town, citizens and tourists tend to spend there free time in Kazimierz, former Jewish district – that is famous for places such as Alchemia, Singer or Mleczarnia, with dark, nostalgic atmosphere lit with candles. In Jewish-style restaurants one can hear tunes of Klezmer music played live by bands invited to entertain the guests.
Krakow is a perfect spot to visit also for those who like the world of legends. Various stories explain the history of the city, the reason why the statue of a big dragon stands by the Wawel Hill, loads of pigeons in the city, why the towers of Saint Mary’s church are not equal and why the bugler plays each hour unfinished tune from one of them.
Apart from tourist must sees – such as the Wawel Hill with the castle and cathedral, Mariacki church with astonishing interior design and the city walls – there are many undiscovered or underappreciated places like Krakow mounds. Among them Kosciuszko’s mound will surely provide excitement to those who have enough stamina to climb the hill from where there is marvellous view of Krakow.
But Krakow is also a place of various cultural events organised by the city authorities and private sponsors. Jewish Culture Festival, that is said to be one of the biggest events of this type, takes place each year at the end of June. There are also numerous Jazz projects, such as Summer Jazz Festival or concerts organised by Alchemia pub, and initiatives of different type like Night of Museums.
Krakow is surely worth visiting in any time of the year, to spend your time walking through the magical city, buying Christmas presents at the Christmas Market Square or listening the bugler play hejnal from the church tower. Each visitor has a chance to find something exceptional in the magical city of Krakow.