01 May, 2015

Kraków part II - Sukiennice, Wawel

The second building that stands out on Kraków's main square is the Cloth hall (Sukiennice). In old times it was a place where exotic products were sold, today it's mainly Polish crafts and suveniers you can buy here. In front of the building, overlooking the Rynek, is a statue of Poland's national poet Adam Mickiewicz.
Another product can be seen in store windows all over the old town: amber in countless shapes and variations.
The tower next to Sukiennice is a remain from the town hall that was torn down in the 19th century to make space for the market square.
Other things you can't miss in the old city center are the wonderful decorated horse carriages, crowds of pigeons, flower girls and various street atrists.
HeatF turned out to be a great singer we saw every day, covering old and new songs better than any "talent" discovered on TV. And what about this wonderful post office?
Next to the Rynek, there's another attaction that stands out in Kraków: the Wawel hill, which is attatched to the old town on one side, and overlooks the Wisła on the other. With the royal castle and cathedral it always used to be both te political and religious center of Poland. The buildings originate from different eras and therefore differ in architecture, but the have one thing in common - they are all very huge and very beautiful.
As time was limited, I decided to spend my time in the cathedral instead of visiting the castle museums. The church contains different architecture styles, too, and is divided into many chapels (photos not allowed inside). It is the burial site of numerous Polish kings, saints and other important personalities. From the cathedral you can climb to the Sigismund tower where you can enjoy the view across Kraków including the old town and park Planty, and see the cathedrals' bells, biggest of them with a total weight of almost 13 tons. Needless to say it's really huge.
Once you're through with everything Wawel has to offer, you can return to the city center on one of the numerous pathways, or - given you are brave enough - descend through the dragon's den. Evil people say that the dragon's appetite for young girls is the reason there are so many young priests in Poland ;)
However, the dragon who once lived here is long defeated so there is a good chance you will walk out of his cave on the Wisła riverside next to his bronze statue that breaths fire spontaneously every couple of minutes, and on sms-request, too.

~ to be continued ~

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