10 Facts To Know Before You Go – Krakow
Krakow is a fascinating city full of history, culture and delicious food. It’s not hard to see why it’s an up and coming travel destination. Krakow is a treasure trove of culture, history and delicious food but with half of the costs and crowds of the more well known western cities. Here are 10 weird facts about Krakow you might not have known.
1. Krakow is one of the best preserved cities in Europe
Krakow old town is one of the few cities that wasn’t bombed during the second world war as the Nazi’s believed it to have Germanic history. In particular the Jewish quarter is well preserved which is quite unusual. Poland has a long history of equality dating back to King Kazimierz from whom the Jewish quarter was named after.
2. It’s one of the best places to see Art Nouveau
Visit Pope John Paul II’s favourite church in Krakow. It is one of the most famous art nouveau churches in the world. The frescoes and windows were replaced after a great fire gutted the building. These are some of artist
Wyspiańskis only completed works. Take a look at the ceilings which are actually snowflakes instead of the traditional stars.
3. Trumpets can be heard 24 hours a day in Krakows main square
Trumpeters play 4 times an hour, 24/7, from the tower in the Dominican church in the main square. You can visit them if you buy a ticket and climb the 80 odd stairs up the tower.
4. Girls can be Kings
Queens were always mothers and wives but never rulers in Poland. Until Louis the great convinced the lord’s that a female king was a great idea. His daughter Hedwig took over after his death. Aged just 10 at her inauguration it must have been a shock to the establishment. It wasn’t all gender equality though as she had to marry a 42 year old man at the age of 12!
5. Schindlers factory still exists
Although there is some controversy over his motives, nobody can deny Schindler saved hundreds of people from the nearby concentration camp at Auschwitz. His factory remains as a museum to the events of that time. It is extremely busy though often selling out weeks in advance. Book online here.
6. A block of salt could once buy a village
Ok so we’re talking a fair few years ago but salt was once worth an awful lot of money. Krakow made a lot of its wealth from salt mining. Even weirder you can go and visit Wieliczka salt mine complete with salty sculptures, boating lakes and a hell of a lot of stairs!
The word salary comes from the Roman word sal, for salt. It was that integral in trade at the time that it made it in to the English dictionary as the word for getting paid.
7. You can meet a real life fire breathing dragon!
Real life sculpture that is… But it does breathe fire every few minutes. Do one of Krakow’s amazing free walking tours to hear the story behind it. Check it out on Google maps here.
8. There’s an underground market beneath the main square
And you can visit it! For just 20zl you can take a look at Krakow’s medieval past. Great for a rainy day!
9. Krakow is not the Capital of Poland
A controversial issue among residents! As the capital was moved to Warsaw in the 16th century. Poland actually once disappeared from the map.
It was partitioned by Russia, Austria and Prussia in 1795. But the culture, traditions and language of Poland were kept alive by the people. It did not reappear back on the map until after the war (1918).
10. There’s a mini Hollywood style walk of fame
With stars and everything! Check it out on maps here or see below for everything mentioned here and more pinned on google. Just follow Lost Wanders on Gmaps to save to your device!