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Kraków, also spelled Cracow, city and capital of Małopolskie województwo (province), southern Poland, lying on both sides of the upper Vistula River. Among the largest cities in Poland, that is well-known primarily for its cool historic style and cultural leadership; UNESCO designated that old town area a world Heritage site in 1978. The marketplace, Rynek Główny (Main Square), has actually existed due to the fact that the 13th century, and also a modern landscaped area is laid the end on the site of past fortifications. Pop. (2011) 757,611.


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History

Kraków was the residence of the Wiślanie tribe (Vistulans), who inhabited Małopolska (Little Poland) until the 10th century. From 988 come 990 Mieszko I, prince of Poland, united the southern and northern areas to form a powerful kingdom, and also his son, Bolesław i (the Brave), later made Kraków the seat of a polishing bishopric. The city expanded rapidly together a trade centre, coming to be the resources of one of Poland’s major principalities in 1138. That was ruined by Tatar invasions during the 13th century yet was quickly rebuilt, receiving “Magdeburg rights,” which contained a municipal constitution, in 1257.

When King Władysław i (the Short) reunited Poland, that made Kraków his capital in 1320, after which the monarchs of Poland to be traditionally crowned in Wawel Castle and also entombed in Wawel Cathedral. Transparent the 14th century Kraków served as Poland’s economic and political centre and as a significant trading allude between England and also Hungary. Concurrently, it flourished into the nation’s intellectual and cultural locus, as shown by one of its main surviving middle ages structures, the Jagiellonian University. Started as the Academy the Kraków by Casimir III (the Great) in 1364, the university acquired prestige throughout the centuries, illustration scientists, artists, and scholars from throughout the continent; it is the 2nd oldest university in main Europe.


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Experience the night watch of the city that Kraków, Poland
Time-lapse video of Kraków, Poland.

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Thousands of historic buildings and sites dot the city. Most significant are the many churches, consisting of St. Mary’s Church (Kościół Mariacki), the main section the which days from 1497. It includes a stained-glass home window from 1370 and a magnificent altar (1477–89) by Veit Stoss (Wit Stosz). Wawel Cathedral homes several ornate chapels and also burial chambers, in addition to a collection of ecclesiastical art. Originally constructed in the beforehand 11th century, the cathedral was rebuilt in 1142 and 1364, and also it was renovated in 1712 in its existing Gothic style. Two protective fortifications remain from middle ages times, a heritage of the city’s perpetual struggle against invaders. The Barbican, a circular bastion with brick walls that are 10 feet (3 metres) thick, was constructed in the 15th century nearby to the various other remaining structure, the 13th-century Florian Gate. The city’s Jewish quarter, in the ar of Kazimierz, includes Remu’h Cemetery, which includes numerous well-preserved tombstones native the 16th century. Fabric Hall is a fine instance of Renaissance architecture.