Craving Krakow

Sometimes I wish I were back in Krakow, Poland. I had such an incredible visit there last year. As it is less visited than other European cities, I thought it was worth mentioning here, because personally I found Krakow interesting and enchanting.

Early morning light in Krakow

Not long ago Krakow was under a Communist regime (it ended in 1989), and even longer ago it was in the shadow of the Holocaust (two main concentration camps were located very nearby), and yet the city and its people shine through.  If you are interested in history you will find much to explore here.

There is a beautiful main square with a large market in the centre:

Sidestreet in Krakow, looking onto the main square.

Main Square at night

Statue honouring Copernicus, who studied at the university in Krakow.

The Jewish Quarter – signs showing how the shops used to look.

We visited the Wieliczka salt mine – it was a short bus ride from Krakow, and was entirely worth the ride.  It was built, can you believe it, in the thirteenth century.  And functioned as a mine until as recently as 2007.  As you will see by my photos, it has some of the typical features of a mine (going down deep – 327 metres!, small walkways, mine shafts) but it is much more incredible:  not only does it have 300 km of pathways but it also features a bar and restaurant, a cavernous chapel (which still has weekly services and which has weddings), and statues of Copernicus and others, including the dwarves which were said to live in the mine.  Here are some of my shots:

Going down, down, down… (there’s a crazy old elevator that takes you back up!)

Salt mine

Statue of Copernicus – he visited the mine.

The amazing chapel deep underground

Altar in the chapel. Note that everything you see is made of SALT. Hence why it glows when it lights up, as you see here. Even the chandeliers are made of salt!

Finally, I really enjoyed seeing (and using) the old communist-era streetcars in Krakow – they have so much character!
Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday,

northkate

Streetcar no. 1

Streetcar no. 2 – my fav.


 

 

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