When I left Poland over 20 years ago, it was the beauty of the town and its medieval charm I missed even more than people. As it is probably the case with most old towns, when you grow up there, you always carry the love of the old architecture and its attention to detail in your heart. Every place you see later in life is measured by its standards and often unable to compete.
|Map of Old Town (source)|
The map above shows you the center of Krakow, which was a walled city in the Middle Ages (fragments of the walls preserved are marked in red at the top of the map). Krakow used to be the capital of Poland and you can see the Royal Castle of Wawel in the lower left corner. In the center you can see Rynek Glowny (Grand Square) with the blue cross of Sukkiennice (Cloth Hall) in the middle and the red St Mary's Church to the right of it. The Old Town is surrounded by park-like Planty (marked in green) and is closed to the automobile traffic, except for service vehicles and local residents. My mother once lived on Grodzka Street, where you could see Rynek Glowny from front windows, but she has since moved to a modern apartment, outside the center of town.
|Rynek Glowny (Grand Square)|
|View of one side of Market Square (it is humongous)|
The shot above shows about one fourth of the space. It is separated by building of Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) in the middle, part of which you can see on the right side. It used to host merchants selling fabrics and now it has array of souvenir shops inside and huge underground museum in the basements that spreads underneath.
|Maly Rynek (next to Saint Mary's Church on the map)|
|Other side of Maly Rynek (Small Market Square)|
|Pijarska Street near old city walls|
|Florianska Street, old entrance to Krakow in the back|
|One of Grodzka side streets|
|Kanonicza Street leading toward Wawel castle|
|Outside Cafes at Grand Square|
|Small plaza next to St Mary's Church|
If there was such a thing as Krakow's town bird it would be a pigeon without any doubt. They are omnipresent and you have to feed them with crumbs from 'obwazanki', big round pretzels available on every street corner in Krakow. Not sure if this is what pigeons should eat but they definitely seem to thrive on the diet.
That's all folks!
I am off to do the laundry and catch up on my favorite blogs. Despite having a lots of fun I missed everybody's daily musings.
I know I could never be a travel writer but at least I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures.