Snow in Krakow
Slither across the stone of Rynek Glowney and wonder where all the tables and chairs which ring the square in Summer have migrated to.
Get your ankles wet jumping from drift to drift in Planty then stand on a tram and watch the puddles congregate at your feet as the snow melts.
The view towards the Cathedral in Wawel Castle takes on an even more fairytale aspect with a crystalline covering while in the Jewish Quarter you can’t help but be reminded of the bitter tragedy of previous years..
At night as the floodlights trace the path of flakes drifting from the top of the Sukkinnice and the hourly bugle call seems even more melancholy tuck yourself away in bar and warm up body and soul with honey vodka.
The oldest street in Krakow
You won't see signs to designate this little street...but if you are interested in preservation and restoration...it is a must. You can find it near the entrance to the castle, just across an open court across the way from the Apostle's Church. I enjoyed the variety of doorways, the changes being made to restore old windows...the scale is small and packed with detail. Don't miss it.
You will notice the window details....where someone replaced a window w/ a modern type in the 60's (probably) and now the original style window is being returned to the structure.
Oh, and by the way....in that first pic of the doorway? The man carved above the door is sticking his tongue out at you!! a little architectural humor there.
When you receive your bill at he end of your meal, if you hand over the payment and say 'Thankyou or thanks' etc. Be warned you may not receive any change. Saying thankyou tells the waiter you do not want change.
In the year 1978 Cracow was...
In the year 1978 Cracow was entered onto the List of World Heritage UNESCO, and in 1992 Cracow was chosen to be the city of the European Culture Month. Finally, in the last year of the 20th century, together with 8 other cities from the continent it is has the honor to be a city of European culture. These are not the only ones but certainly the most important distinguishing features confirming the rank of Cracow on the cultural map of Europe. It goes without saying that Cracow is appreciated in the same way in Poland. For every Pole Cracow is a city full of monuments, former capital of Poland. The place one must visit to see at least the Wawel Castle.
The development of culture and art is connected with the royal castle from the very beginning of its existence. It was for the needs of the royal court that architectural and decorative masterpieces were made. Literature, theatre and music developed at the court. Monarchs were also patrons of culture. It so happened that in spite of various disasters and the ordinary flow of time we can admire to this day the works of artists and craftsmen from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, and the Classicism. The cathedral on the Wawel Hill with the pearl of the Renaissance the Sigismund Chapel dazzles the visitors. In the royal chambers so-called arras unique tapestries ordered by Sigismund Augustus are exhibited. Cracow's art is obviously not only the Wawel. In the periods of prosperity townsmen could afford such imposing buildings as e.g. the Cloth-hall. And there are churches. They were built even at the times when the Republic was not doing well. A few of them are of the world class standard. One of them has something, which is envied by the whole cultural Europe a 15th century altar by Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoss) in St. Mary's Church.
Such Cracow, full of monuments, has to influence our contemporary times, people who create art in it and who create art because of it. In the 20th century it so much affected Stanis³aw Wyspiañski, and in recent years Tadeusz Kantor, Konrad Swinarski, Wis³awa Szymborska and Czes³aw Mi³osz, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Penderecki. In Cracow we can find - apart from some other theaters - the Stary (Old ) Theater, the best theater in the country, as it has been considered for the last three decades. Also, in the grim times of communism, the Pod Baranami Cabaret used to amuse the inhabitants of Cracow. Jazz was played in the cellars of the Old City houses. Nowhere in the world except Cracow can you find a more attractive market-cultural offer.
Discover the Ethnographic Museum
The Ethnographic Museum is a delightful stop along the way if you are walking from the main square to Kazimierz District. Their collections of early furnishings, farm tools, costumes, and other assorted early treasures of Poland is nicely displayed and preserved. I particularly like the painted trunks and furniture because of my find in an antique show in Massachusetts where I found an Eastern European trunk which I have decided MUST be an early trunk from Poland. Upstairs Gosia took a dreadful pic of me standing behind a costumed board where you stick your face through. I include it here for your amusement.
There is an excellent book written by a doctoral student at Cornell University in the US about the period between 1848 - 1914 in Poland. The author used the Ethnographic Museum for some of her detailed research, which I wish I could have the time to do myself. The Nation in the Village was written by Keely Stauter-Halsted and is extremely helpful in understanding the daily life of the villagers in southern Poland as they came from Serfdom to their national identity in Austrian Poland.
Don't forget to stop in their charming little gift shop where you can find painted wooden toys, books, cards, and other replicas of early crafts.