It has always been my dream to visit Krakow but I have only managed to visit it earlier this year. You could say that it took me too long, considering that my hometown is just 4 hours drive from Krakow but I haven't had the opportunity to go there before.
Why Krakow? It's because of Karol Wojtyla also known as John Paul II. I had been fascinated by his life and achievements when I was a child. He served here as archbishop in the 60's. He was an extraordinary person and I wanted to visit the place that he loved so much.
We asked my mom and siblings to join us in April this year and spent there 3 great days. It was much colder than in my hometown but we still enjoyed it.
First of all, I was surprised about its size. I thought it would be a small town but it is a big city with its own airport! I haven't heard about that before.
There are so many things to see that we were not sure if we could see them all within 3 days but we did our best.
The first place that we wanted to see was of course the Wawel Royal castle. We chose a hotel 5 minutes from the castle so it was very convenient.
It's located on a hill next to the river Vistula and it's a complex of colorful buildings in various architectural styles. I remember feeling overwhelmed as it was so much better than what I expected.
The Wawel castle dates back to the 11th century. It was considerably expanded in the 14th century when it gained it Gothic looks.
Let's walk inside! Can you see the gate on the right side?
The castle is beautifully preserved and holds many various exhibits. Make sure to come early so that you have enough time to see them all. If you need some refreshment there is a small cafe with wide selection of cakes and snacks as well.
And here we are! This statue caught my attention as we have the same statue in my hometown. I know that there are not that many around the world, so this made me feel very proud.
Part of the complex is the Wawel Royal Cathedral of St. Stanislaus B.M. and St. Wenceslaus M.
The first church that ever stood here dates back probably to the 10th century. This is not exactly known.
The construction of the Cathedral that we know today was started at the end of the 11th century. It was the center of worship of St. Stanislaus who was murdered in 1079. Pilgrims from many counties visited this place. It has a great history and it is even known as 'Mother of churches' in Poland. It holds a very special place in the history of Poland and lives of Poles.
It's a place that is definitely worth a visit. I didn't even think of taking photos inside as it's such a serene place that you just want to enjoy the silence and the atmosphere.
Once you saw the Cathedral, you can go and see the rest of the complex.
The inner courtyard with arcaded galleries was finished in about 1540. I was surprised to see how big and impressive it is. From here you can get to various exhibitions in the castle.
I'd like to show you some details of this architectural gem...
On the way to the main square we got to see the Sandomierska tower as well. It was closed during our visit. It served as a firing tower in the occupation times and as a prison in times of peace.
When it's open you can climb the stairs and enjoy the views of Krakow.
And the last view of the Wawel before going to the main square...
On the way...
And here we are! There was an Easter market on the square and it was buzzing with life. People seemed to be enjoying the holiday period.
I was surprised to learn that there is an underground museum under the main square also known as Rynek Główny. The museum is called Rynek Underground and its exposition will take you through the history of Krakow. It's a new museum that was open in 2010 and it's highly interactive. It was so much fun! If you get a chance you should visit it too.
You probably wouldn't expect to see a bird in this post. Well, we visited a place with many birds and butterflies. It's like a museum too. I don't remember its name but I like this photo 😊
I hope you have enjoyed our tour of Krakow!
Thank you for visiting!