Krakow: what to see, the Black Madonna, salt mines

krakow cathedral
krakow cathedral

What to visit in Krakow, driving with a tourist route in the Polish city and surroundings, Our Lady of Czestochowa and salt mines.

Guide Krakow

Located on the banks of the Vistula River, Krakow is located at the foot of Wawel Hill, in the southern part of Poland. The city is the largest cultural and artistic center of Poland, home to the country’s oldest university, the University of Jagellonia. It’s a student town where the atmosphere is young, rich in traditions, history and architectural scenes.

Krakow was until the end of the sixteenth century, the country’s capital, and its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The urban plan includes the medieval center, the Wawel, the urban core of Kazimierz, and the district of Stradom.

What to visit in Krakow and surroundings

– Stare Miasto, the old town which is the medieval center, is built around the market square is one of the largest medieval squares in Europe, overlooked by elegant buildings. The medieval walls surrounding the old city today remains only the door and Florianska and a section of wall that was built in 1499 near the main gate.

– Wawel, the hill was inhabited since the Paleolithic preserves important traces the country’s history and precious artistic. The buildings that characterize the complex are, the Castle and the Cathedral. The Castle with the airy courtyard Renaissance masterpiece of the architects of the Florentine Francesco Lora and Bartolommeo Berrecci, preserves important art collections and the royal treasury with the Crown Jewels.

– Krakow’s Cathedral built in Gothic style between 1320 and 1346, dedicated to St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslas, is the National Shrine of Poland and was the seat of the coronations of kings of Poland. Inside are the tombs of Polish kings from the fourteenth century and the funeral chapel of King Sigismund I, which was built from 1519 to 1533 by Bartolomeo Berrecci and defined by many historians as the finest example of Tuscan Renaissance north of the Alps.

– Kazimierz is a neighborhood built by Casimir the Great, who was the center of religious and social life of the Jews of Krakow, until their deportation occurred in mass during the Nazi occupation.

Near Krakow

Near Krakow are the salt mine in Wieliczka, the Tatra Mountains, Czestochowa’s city famous for its shrine which houses the icon of the Black Madonna and Child, very dear to Polish people, the National Park of Ojcow and the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, tragic testimony of very painful events, now a place dedicated to memory. In Wadowice, located about 50 km from Krakow was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla, known as John Paul II, who studied the Jagiellonian University, was ordained a priest in Krakow and later received episcopal ordination in Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.