Historic Centre of Kraków

Historic Centre of Kraków

Kraków also Cracow, or Krakow (US English /ˈkrækaʊ/, British English /ˈkrækɒv/) is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596; Free City of Kraków from 1815 to 1846; the Grand Duchy of Cracow from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland’s second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Slavonic Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of approximately 760,000 whereas about 8 million people live within a 100 kilometres (62 miles) radius of its main square.

After the invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, Kraków became the capital of Germany’s General Government. Poles and Jews were classified as subhumans by the occupiers and were targeted for eventual extermination. The Jewish population of the city was moved into a walled zone known as the Kraków Ghetto, from which they were sent to German extermination camps such as the nearby Auschwitz and the concentration camps like Płaszów.

In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II – the first Slavic pope ever, and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. Also that year, UNESCO approved the first ever sites for its new World Heritage List, including the entire Old Town in inscribing Cracow’s Historic Centre. Kraków is classified as a global city by GaWC, with the ranking of High sufficiency. Cited as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula river, the St. Mary’s Basilica and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny. Kraków is home to Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world and traditionally Poland’s most reputable institution of higher learning.

In 2000, Kraków was named European Capital of Culture. The city will also host the next World Youth Day in 2016.

Outline
Kraków also Cracow, or Krakow (US English /ˈkrækaʊ/, British English /ˈkrækɒv/) is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

    Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

  2. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

    Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

  3. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

    Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

  1. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

    Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

  2. Upper Middle Rhine Valley

    Upper Middle Rhine Valley

  3. Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

    Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

  1. Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

    Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

  2. The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes

    The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes

  3. Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

    Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

  1. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

    Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

  2. Wieliczka Salt Mine

    Wieliczka Salt Mine

  3. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

    Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

  1. Monastic Island of Reichenau

    Monastic Island of Reichenau

  2. Engelsberg Ironworks

    Engelsberg Ironworks

  3. Pienza

    Pienza

  1. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

    Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

  2. Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System

    Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System

  3. Our Lady of Ljeviš

    Our Lady of Ljeviš

  1. Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

    Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

  2. Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

    Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

  3. The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

    The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

  1. Universidade de Coimbra

    Universidade de Coimbra

  2. Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

    Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

  3. Costiera Amalfitana

    Costiera Amalfitana

  1. Alhambra

    Alhambra

  2. Semmering Railway

    Semmering Railway

  3. Old City of Zamość

    Old City of Zamość

  1. Works of Antoni Gaudí

    Works of Antoni Gaudí

  2. Pyrénées – Mont Perdu

    Pyrénées – Mont Perdu

  3. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

    Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

  1. Ring of Brodgar

    Ring of Brodgar

  2. Episcopal City of Albi

    Episcopal City of Albi

  3. Alto Douro Wine Region

    Alto Douro Wine Region

  1. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

    Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

  2. Roskilde Cathedral

    Roskilde Cathedral

  3. Laponian Area

    Laponian Area

  1. Wartburg Castle

    Wartburg Castle

  2. Historic Centre of Riga

    Historic Centre of Riga

  3. Limes

    Limes

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top