Krakow, once a royal capital for 500 years, has been a witness to all the changes that took place over the centuries. It is one of the largest and oldest cities in Poland, apart from being a popular tourist destination.
Krakow is home to a number of historical buildings and monuments. The first attraction on any tourist itinerary is the beautiful and splendid Wawel Royal Castle.The next in line is the national shrine the true architectural masterpiece, Wawel Cathedral. Other prominent landmarks are theGothic St. Mary’s church and its Basilica of the Virgin Mary’s; Wieliczka Salt Mine (UNESCO World Heritage); City Walls and the Great Barbican.
Then there is vast fortified complex of St. Norbert’s Convent; the hilltop monastery fortress, Tyniec Abbey and the Baroque hermitage complex, Bielany Monastery. Apart from these Krakow is also a home to the second holiest shrine in Poland, the Skalka Sanctuary; the Kazimier Jewish Quarter; the Synagogues and the stained-glass window masterpiece that shines above the entrance to the basilica of St. Francis’.
Krakow has museums as well, like the Galicia Museum, Museum of Pharmacy and the University Museum, Collegium Maius. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece- Lady with an Ermine-in the Czartoryskich Museum are amongst the prominent attractions.
Other major tourist attractions in Krakow are the Old Town historical District; Grand Square, the largest of medieval European cities and Cloth Hall, world’s oldest shopping mall. The Rynek Glowny, largest medieval market square; Kanonicza Street, beautiful European ancient streets and the impressive park of 30 varied gardens, the Planty Garden Ring, among others.
The temperate climate of Krakow results in warmer summers and colder winters. The good time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is pleasant.
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