Cracow’s Fire-Breathing Dragon

Krakow

Most castles have some magical, or perhaps monstrous, creature woven into their history. Wawel Royal Castle, in Cracow, is no different. A fire-breathing dragon — smok wawelski in the mother tongue — terrorised Cracow’s people and probably provided quite a bit of adrenaline-fuelled ‘entertainment’ and…

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Poland’s Exits and Entrances

Poland

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances…” — As You Like It, William Shakespeare There are  so many interesting ‘exits and entrances’ (those things we know as doors) in Poland. Here are…

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Poland’s Oldest University

Jagiellonski

Uniwersytet Jagiellonski is renowned for being the highest rated university in Poland – that’s probably because it has had quite a bit of practice, over the centuries, as to what is required of a top university. Its oldest campus (Collegium Maius) dates back to 1364…

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Let There Be A Fortress

Fortress

Everyone knows that a medieval European city needed to be fortified. Cracow is no exception. The city centre was surrounded by fortress walls that ran for two miles around its perimeter; had 39 towers and 8 gates. The fortress kept out invaders with its 10-metre…

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Cracow’s Leaning Tower

Krakow

I know what you’re thinking! Shouldn’t this post read: ‘The Leaning Tower of Pisa,’ that town in central Italy? Well, Cracow’s Town Hall Tower (Wieza Ratuszowa) could be better known as ‘The Leaning Tower of Cracow’. The gothic, 70-metre high tower leans 55cm to one side.…

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Sukiennice in Cracow

Sukiennice

Sunlight waltzes in through the four main entrances and asks the amber jewellery for a dance; she coyly glistens but obliges. Wooden marionette puppets wink as you pass by, while sheepskin slippers conjure thoughts of winter. Sukiennice, or cloth hall, is located in the centre…

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St Mary’s Basilica

St Mary's Basilica

St Mary’s Basilica (Kosciol Mariacki), which is situated in Cracow’s Old Town Square is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks. For this reason, it is often the meeting point for locals and for free walking tours around Cracow. Perhaps you may recognise the basilica from…

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Bielsko-Biala

The old town square in Bielsko-Biala, which dates back to the 13th century, was the judicial, administrative and cultural centre of the city. During the Second World War it was gravely damaged and the commercial hub was relocated to the lower districts of Bielsko-Biala. By…

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Miedzybrodzie

Miedzybrodzie

I welcomed the new year from atop the mountain in Miedzybrodzie, not too far from Bielsko-Biala, where I was born. I recall hearing numerous stories from my parents of the carefree days they spent in the surrounding area with their friends as teenagers and young…

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