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Places of Interest

Kraków, the capital of Małopolska region, is the second largest city in Poland, home to over 700,000 people. It is one of the most outstanding examples of European urban planning, characterized by harmonious development and accumulation of features representing all architectural styles from early Romanesque to the Modernist periods. Małopolska region boasts fine monuments from all eras, interesting architectural styles and exceptional buildings, featuring exceptional examples of vernacular architecture. Historic Centre of Kraków, were among the first twelve sites added to the List in 1978.

As the former capital of Poland, Krakow is filled with treasures of the past satisfying the needs of even the most demanding admirers of architecture and art:

Interesting Museums and galleries

Unique worth seeing Monuments

Objects of arts

Movies which took place in Krakow


Interesting Museums and galleries

Polish museum of Aviation

Polish Aviation Museum - The collection consists of over 200 aircraft and several of theme are unique on the world scale. The museum has 22 extremely rare airplanes that until 1941 were displayed at the Deutsche Luftfahrtsammlung museum (German aviation museum) in Berlin. The collection of Polish planes from the years 1918-1939 is very few, as these were almost all destroyed during the Nazi German occupation of Poland, including those displayed in Polish pre-war aviation museums.

The museum has been scored as eighth world's best aviation museum by CNN.




worth seeing:


Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology

Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and opened in 1994. The institution runs tea making courses, flower arranging (ikebana) and Japanese language courses. On July 11, 2002 museum was visited by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. On the request of the emperor, an exhibition of selected woodcuts of the great Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige had been prepared. The roof resembles the sea in many old Japanese paintings - echo both the museum's surroundings and some of the art housed within; the garden next to the building is a gift of the city of Kyoto.




worth seeing: Manggha Museum Collection


Unique worth seeing Monuments

St. Mary Church and Veit Stoss Altar

The largest Gothic altarpiece in the world and the national treasure of Poland.

The Veit Stoss Altarpiece is about 13 m high and 11 m wide when the panels of the triptych are completely opened..The realistically sculptured figures are 2.7 m high.Each one was carved out of a tree trunk of lime. Other parts of the altarpiece are made from oak wood, and the background is constructed of larch wood. When closed, the panels show 12 scenes of the life of Jesus and Mary.


worth seeing:


Wawel Royal Castle

The Wawel Castle is a Castle with a residential function. It is located on the Wawel hill on the left bank of the Vistula river. It was erected in the XI century, but in its history it has been rebuilt many times. The Castle was the residence of Polish kings until the capital was moved to Warsaw in 1596. Visitors can see regalia, coronation sword and many other expositions. The kings, bards and marshal Piłsudski were buried in the cathedral's crypt.

Under the hill visitors can meet a fire-breathing dragon associated with one of the Polish legends.



worth seeing: Wawel Royal Castle State Art Collection


Objects of arts

Lady with an Ermine - Leonardo da Vinci located in National Museum in Krakow

A symbolic link between two EuCAP host cities: Paris with Mona Lisa in Louvre and Krakow with Lady with an Ermine in National Museum. Lady with Ermine and Mona Lisa as well as two other paintings are the only four portraits of woman painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

Lady with Ermine painted in oils on wooden panel around 1489-1490. The treasure of the art is the property of National Museum in Krakow and has been on display in the Museum main building, just next to the Old Town.


worth seeing:


Movies which took place in Krakow

Man of Marble (1977)

Directed by Andrzej Wajda – a polish film contains scenes from life of a 1950s bricklayer - Mateusz Birkut - a fictional heroic Polish bricklayer, who was briefly a proletariat hero. A portrait of Birkut emerges: he believed in the workers' revolution, in building housing for all, and his very virtues were his undoing.
Most important awards: Journalists' Award during the Polish Film Festival in Gdańsk (1977); Award of the International Federation of Film Critics – Cannes (1978); MFF "FEST" in Belgrad (1979); Special Jury’s Award (1980) in Kartagena.



Schindler's List (1993)

Directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg - is an American historical period drama, based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish - Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. Principal photography took place in Kraków, Poland, over the course of 72 days in 1993.
Most important awards: Golden Globe Awards (1994) for directing, the best movie, scenography; Oscar nominations (1994) in the categories: direction, scenario, photos, scenography, film editing, music, sound, the leading and the supporting male role, costumes, makeup nd hairstyling; César Award nomination (1994) for the foreign language film; BAFTA Awards (1994) for the best movie and direction.

César Award nomination (1994) for the foreign language film


The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski - is a French-Polish-Norwegian drama film which explores the themes of love, identity and human intuition through the characters of two women born at the same time – one in Krakow, the other in Clermont. They get the same names, have the same artistic interests – Weronika is a Polish choir soprano, and her double – Véronique is a French music teacher.
Most important awards: Jury's Award for the best female role during Cannes Fesival(1991); Award of the International Federation of Film Critics – Cannes (1991); Award of the National Society of Film Critics (1991); ‘Golden Duck’ (1992) for the best polish movie - a Polish Award presented by the monthly „Film”.

Jury's Award for the best female role during Cannes Fesival(1991); Award of the International Federation of Film Critics – Cannes (1991); Award of the National Society of Film Critics (1991)



With Fire and Sword (1999)

Directed by Jerzy Hoffman - at the time of its filming it was the most expensive Polish film ever made. It is polish historical drama based on the novel With Fire and Sword, the first part in The Trilogy of Henryk Sienkiewicz. The story is set in Ukrainian lands of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland during the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648-1651.
Most important awards: Awards for film editing, scenography during the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (1999); „Gold Teeth” during Polish Film Festival in America – Chicago (1999); Polish Film Awards „Eagles” (2000) for the best producer, the best supporting female role, nominations in the categories: the best movie, director, scenography, music, sound, the best main and supporting male role.



The Deluge (1974)

Directed by Jerzy Hoffman – is the third most popular movie in the history of Polish Cinema. It is polish historical drama film based on the 1886 novel of the same name by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The film is set in the 17th century during the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the years 1655 to 1658.
Most important awards: „Golden Lions” during the Polish Film Festival in Gdańsk (1974); Award of the Minister of Culture and Art for Jerzy Hoffman (1975);

Oscar nomination in the category: foreign language film (1975).



Influence of Christianity

In Cracow, the influence of the Christian religion can be seen at every step, because there are many temples here, especially in the city centre. The most famous of them are St. Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Cathedral and Benedictine abbey in Tyniec on the outskirts of Cracow. It is also worth seeing the Bishop’s Palace, where Karol Wojtyła (later known as a pope John Paul II) lived there in years 1964-1978 and spoke to the crowd through the papal window during his pilgrimages to homeland.
St. Mary’s Basilica
Wawel Cathedral

Benedictine abbey in Tyniec


Bishop’s Palace


Influence of Judaism

Kazimierz, in Kraków, is a special place developed over many centuries as a Christian-Jewish neighbourhood. Jews arrived here in the mid-14th century, and until the early 19th century they lived in a separate “Jewish city”, enclosed by today’s Miodowa, św. Wawrzyńca, Wąska, Józefa, and Bożego Ciała streets. It was an autonomous enclave governed by internal Jewish authorities: their only sovereign was the king in whose name the Voivode of Kraków exercised authority over the enclave. At the close of the 19th and early in the 20th centuries, Jews gradually began to take over the whole of Kazimierz and the neighbouring Stradom district. There is many interesting places to see, for example Galicia Jewish Museum - one of the finest museums in Cracow. The majority of synagogues in Kraków was closed or even destroyed during world war II, but two of them are still active: Temple Synagogue and Remuh Synagogue.

















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