Tag Archives: Kraków

Cracow, a Cathedral Town in Poland

Cracow (Kraków) is believed to be one of the oldest towns in Poland and, according to the tradition, it was founded around the year 700 A.D. as a fortress. Cracow is a Cathedral town by the year 1000, the seat of Polish monarchs in Wavel Castle from 1038 and the centre of one of the oldest universities in Central Europe, the Jagiellonian University, established by King Kaziemiers III Wilki in 1384. Cracow in the Middle Ages was a junction point of trade routes from Western and Southern Europe to the Baltic Sea and Byzantium, a town where master builders, painters and artisans flocked-in from all over Europe; the city was incorporated by Napoleon into the Duchy of Warsaw, so it became a free city and the capital town of a mini-republic, then incorporated in the Austrian Habsburg Empire and occupied by the Germans from 1939 to 1945 when it was taken by the Soviet troops. Today Cracow, the 3rd largest city in Poland, with its historic buildings and churches, its museums, its stunning Market Square, its over 175.000 students, its concerts of classical music and jazz, its artistic life, its restaurants and pubs and, the last but not the least, the home of the revolutionary patriot Tadeusz Kosciuszko, of the poet Mickiewicz and of the statesman Jozef Pilsudski.