Krakow-The City of Freedom

             Local     : “Hey sir, have you visited the Wawa Castle?”

              Me        : “Wa what?”

             Local     : “Wawel Castle, W-A-W-E-L Castle. The 1000 years old Castle” 

 

              Me:       : “ohh”

 *8 Hours earlier

It’s 5 A.M and I was on the bus from Brno Hotel Grand to go to Krakow, Poland. It’s going to spend at least 5 hours, best time for me to sleep after long night walking for taking a picture night in Brno.

I was arrived at Krakow Bus Station and straightly having a breakfast in the waiting room. Having mild headache because lack of sleep forcing me to sleep for 20 minutes, NOT FUN AT ALL.

After managing my headache with paracetamol that I brought from Indonesia, finally I could walk like a normal people. I walked to Galeria Krakowska to buy some food. Walked for 10 minutes from there, you already in Krakow Old Town.

City of Krakow was officially the Capital of Poland until 1596. The City has combination of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic style in Architecture. The city leads in economy, culture and artistic in Poland.

So, what places that you visited in here dude?, Thanks for asking. So here the places that I visited and you should visit!

Krakow Cloth Hall

During Renaissance era, it was a major International trade. Merchants from many countries met here to discussing their businesses. Today, especially in winter you still could find some souvenir seller in here.

Wawel Castle

    Local: Hey sir, have you visited Wawa Castle yet? *sipping beer

    Me    : Wa.....what?

    Local: W-A-W-E-L castle, that castle over there.

He was the first Polish with the best english around here. Wawel Castle is in one area with Wawel Cathedral. The oldest stone buildong could be traced before 1000 A.D. The building itself have combination of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance.

For centuries the castle was residence of Polish King but, in 1930 it changed to become a museum. For the record, I couldn't get to the inside building because it's under maintenance.

Wawel Cathedral

A few meter from Wawel Castle you can found the Wawel Cathedral. The current Gothic styled cathedral is the third edifice, the first one destroyed in the 11th century, second one constructed in the 12th century and destroyed again in fire in the year of 1305, the current Cathedral was constructed in the 14th century. The cathedral is essential national sancturies that served as coronation site of Polish Monarchs.

I couldn't give you the interior picture because it was restricted to take the picture inside. But, let me just explain in here, once you inside you will see a maze of royal sarcophagus, royal tombs and altars.

Wawel Bone Dragon

Still in this area, you will find the bone hanging right next to the entrance of Cathedral. Here's some history, the locals called it Smok Wawelski or the Wawel Dragon. Before the city was founded, there was a dragon that live in the cave under the Wawel's Rolling Hills. Each day the dragon would kill many civilians and animals. In the most popular hhistory of this folklore, the dragon really enjoyed eating young maiden. One day, there was a cobber named, Skuba. He killed the dragon by tricked the dragon with lamb filled with sulphur. When the dragon ate it, the dragon become so thirsty and it ran to the nearest river to drink. Unfortunately, It drank too much and it die because it stomach burst.

Even though the bone is real, but it's not a dragon. It actually a fossilized mammoth or whale bone. So, how can it ended up there? doesn't matter there are alot like that around here.

Dragon Statue

Build right next to Wista riverbank, there is a statue build by the local artist to make a symbol about the folklore of the Wawel Dragon. In the certain times the statue will spit fire like every dragon in the movies, yes real fire!.

Schindler's Factory

You better watch Schindler's list for more better explanation.

Barbican

You can find this building while you walk from the Galeria Krakowska to the Old Town. Built in 1499 this fort was designed to response the invasion of Ottoman. There’s no pay for the entrance.

Planty Park

If you wonder where is it so you have the same problem. I just found it that this park is surrounding the old town!. You can find many monuments in here!.

So, that’s places that I visited. But if you have much time and of course extra cash. Maybe you can put these places on your list!

Auschwitz

Arbeit Macht Frei or sets you free, who didn't know this place?. Established after occupation of Nazi German in Poland. There are at least 40 subcamps for prisoner where the Jews and other minorities worked as slave labor.

This place not located exactly in Krakow but, the easiest way to reach it from Krakow.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Probably the oldest salt mine in the world. Producing salt from 13th century up until 2007, is 327 meters deep down and almost 300 kilometers long with lot of small tunnel. The amazing things about the mine that, it’s not just a mine. There are atleast several chapels inside for the price just visit this link.

Conclusion

From my point of view Krakow will giving you the best experience for enjoying the old architecture. The price was not very expensive, and you can easily find a good food, especially if you’re muslim there are many places that serving halal food and the local is very helpful when you asking for some information even though not many of them speak English (but at least they try). And now the bad part of the city. There are many beggars in from galleria krakowska towards the old city, other than that, I still have not found any bad side of the city.

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