750 years of the foundation of Krakow
Krakow, the most famous city in all Poland, celebrates the 750th anniversary of the granting of the Magdeburg Rights in 2007. Naturally, this does not mean that Krakow was established only in the 13th century. In fact, the city had already existed for a long time. If we are to believe the chroniclers, in around the year 700 Prince Krak, acting together with the shoemaker Skub (also known as Skuba) killed a dragon and founded Krakow.
In the year 1257, the city was granted new rights. It was then that the Market Square and the network of streets within the Planty ring, which has survived until this day, were laid out.
Many events are organized in June to celebrate the anniversary.
Outstanding stained-glass work
The stained-glass windows by Stanislaw Wyspianski at the Franciscan Church are absolutely stunning - not like any other ones that you see in most Catholic churches! They are considered to be one of the best examples of modern sacral art in the world.
The picture was taken on a cloudy day but imagine how this stained-glass looks against sunlight!
The Franciscan church is in Plac Wszystkich Swietych Square (check also my Must-See tips about it).
New Years Eve
Krakow seems to become one of the popular European cities to celebrate New Years Eve. The large medieval Market Square (Rynek Glowny) with its dimensions of 200 x 200 m is the perfect setting for a New Years Eve event.
In 2004/05 a stage was set up just in front of the Cloth Hall. Many famous Polish artists performed here and about 170.000 people celebrated New Years Eve in and around the Market Square.
While we were in Krakow in May, it rained quite a bit, so I was glad I brought along two folding umbrellas. I also brought my rain-proof windbreaker jacket, that when folded, doesn't take up any space in my suitcase. I was also glad I brought along a cardigan sweater and my hoodie as it was cool some nights. An absolute must is good walking shoes. Many streets and sidewalks are paved with stones, making walking surfaces uneven. Our Hotel supplied liquid soap and shampoo, but I always bring my own anyway, in small bottles.I also bring washcloths, as we like to use them and European Hotels do not usually provide them.
For medical, I always bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids & anti-bacteria ointment.
And of course our prescriptions, with enough to last us during our whole stay. For my digital camera, I need my battery charger and rechargeable batteries - usually four sets just in case. I also need a converter and 2-prong adaptor. In our goody bag that we got from Matt for VT members, we received "Krakow in your pocket" - a handy little booklet with hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, transportation, etc. We got ours for free, but you can pick up yours at any tourist information center for 5zl which is only about $2.00.
Nowa Huta - Ludowy Theatre
The Ludowy Theatre (Teatr Ludowy) is one of the oldest buildings in Krakow's suburb Nowa Huta.
It was construted in 1955 by Janusz Ingarden. Plans to build a monumental theatre in the central Square (Plac Centralny) were given up, therefore Ludowy Theatre was one of the most important Polish theatres.
It is situated in the "cultural district" of Nowa Huta. Other interesting buildings in this district inlcude the Swit Cinema and Nowa Huta's first church.