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Kraków/Old Town

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Jan 13, 2022

The Old City of Kraków, referred to in Polish as Stare Miasto, forms the historical kernel of this vibrant Polish city and is the first target for most travellers to the city for accommodation, eating out, entertainment, and attractions.

Sukiennice at night

. . . Kraków/Old Town . . .

Map of Kraków/Old Town

The area of the Old City is bounded by the ring of lightly-forested parkland, known as the Planty, that used to mark the Old City walls and moat. The Wawel, the long-fortified hill at the southern end of the Old City, overlooks the River Vistula, and forms an integral part of this district. The centre of the Old City (and of Kraków itself) is the Rynek Główny (Main Market Square) from which all the main streets radiate.

In this article also the area known in Polish as Śródmieście (Inner city) is covered. It was developed behind torn down medieval city walls on the grounds of surrounding villages and towns and today together with Old City forms the I district of Kraków. Śródmieście is bordered by a ring road al. Trzech Wieszczów from the west and rail tracks from the east.

  • Wyspiański Pavilion, pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2
  • ul. św. Jana 2
  • ul. Szpitalna 25 (in Planty park outside the underground passage leading from Train Station)
  • ul. Powiśle 11 (in the pavilion at the foot of Wawel hill)
  • Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1-3
Wawel Castle courtyard
  • 50.0540119.935141 Wawel Castle, Wawel 5, +48 12 422-51-55, +48 12 422-61-21, fax: +48 12 421-51-77, e-mail: zamek@wawel.edu.pl. Wawel is a lime hillock situated on the left bank of the Vistula at an altitude of 228 metres above sea level. This is a symbolic place of great significance for Polish people. The Royal Castle and the Cathedral are on the hill. Polish Royalty and many distinguished Poles are interred in the cathedral and royal coronations took place there. It’s considered to be the most beautiful castle in Central Europe, besides the Hradcany in Prague. 
  • 50.0616619.937361 Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Rynek Główny 1-3. Sukiennice was built in the early 14th century in the middle of the Main Market Square as a trading hall in Gothic style. It got its present Renaissance look in 1555. In the 19th century, it was turned into a museum. The first floor was used for great banquets. Now, souvenir shops are there. 
The town hall tower
Medieval Barbican
  • 50.0614719.936411 Town Hall Tower, Rynek Główny 1. Part of the big 13th century Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall that once stood on the Main Market. The town hall was destroyed by the Austrians in the 19th century after they took control of Krakow. It is now one of the branches of Kraków Historical Museum; there’s a nice view of the city from upstairs if it is open. 
  • 50.0654519.941621 Barbican (Barbakan). Barbakan was built in the 15th century as the biggest European defense building of its kind. The Gothic Barbakan was meant to defend the Florian Gate from attacks of the Osman Turks, which were thought to attack Central Europe after conquering Constantinople and the Balkans in the late Middle Age. 
  • 50.0648719.941371 Florian Gate (Brama Floriańska). This gate is the only part of the medieval walls which has survived. It consists of four towers and the arsenal and gives you a good idea of what the five kilometers of walls around the Old City looked like in the Middle Ages. 

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. . . Kraków/Old Town . . .