Europe, Poland

Sights to see in Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland’s second-largest city, doesn’t just offer a beautiful cityscapes, historical buildings and monuments.

There are many fascinating sights to see in Krakow, including a 700-year-old salt mine, Saint Mary’s Church, Oskar Schindler’s Enamelware Factory, Royal Chambers, and the Remuh Cemetary.

Salt Mine

The Salt Mine is located just outside of Krakow’s city center in the town of Wieliczka. The mine was built during the thirteenth century and was a main producer for the common table salt until 2007. The mines have since been turned into a popular attraction in Poland with many statues and even an entire chapel that has been carved out of it’s famous rock salt. The tour of these illustrious mines includes a nearly two mile journey through all the mine’s corridors.

Wawel Cathedral and Museum

The Gothic Wawel Cathedral is Poland’s most important cathedral. This cathedral has been destroyed and rebuilt twice since it was first constructed in the early 11th century. The final construction began in the 14th century, although other structures have been added over the years, as recently as the 19th century. The interior is breathtaking,┬ádominated by the tomb of Saint Stanislaus, the patron saint of Poland.

Saint Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church is the second most important cathedral in Krakow after Wawel Cathedral. Saint Mary’s was originally built in the early 13th century but was destroyed by the Tatar raids, led by the grandson of Genghis Khan, Batu Khan, who attacked many European cities during the early 1220s. Saint Mary’s Church was rebuilt in the 14th century. The interior of the church is beautiful, as is the exterior, which has the unusual feature of two unequal towers.

Oskar Schindler’s Enamelware Factory

Oskar Schindler, who joined the Nazi Party in 1939, saved more than 1,100 of his factory’s Jewish workers from the Holocaust after the Nazis invaded Poland. In 20101, the factory opened as a museum.

Wawel Royal Castle

King Sigismund the Old turned the formerly Gothic castle into a Renaissance palace in the 1500s. The Royal Chambers, also known as the State Rooms, were used as an army barracks for most of the 19th century, so the castle is not as grand as some of Europe’s other castles. However, the building has been restored to its Renaissance and early Baroque style and is crammed with period furnishings, paintings, tapestries and works of art.

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