Architecture

Cracow is a riverside ex-capital city with rolling hills and gleaming structures and has been given UNESCO world heritage status. The architecture of Cracow is known for its wonderfully designed and spacious buildings. Churches in Cracow are the major reflectors of the culture and architecture that succeeded in the different periods all through the history of the place. The exotic nature and centuries old architect of the place is sure to impress all the tourists. There is no lack for grandeur and magnanimity in the buildings of Cracow.

Cracow has a unique atmosphere and an ancient history. From medieval castles to a seven hundred year old Market Square, architecture-savvy tourists will ultimately be captivated by their observations. St. Mary’s Basilica, a Gothic church built in the 13th century is also located on the central square, dominating the Cracow skyline.

Originally Cracow was a walled town which consisted of 39 towers and 10 gates but the Brama Florianska is the last remaining part of this. It was the main gate guarding the northern approach to the town. On the side of the gate that faces the old town is a bust of St. Florian, the patron saint of fire brigades, putting out a fire in the old town.

Another awesome sight is the Barbakan. It was originally placed on an island between the two moats crossed via a drawbridge. Cracow’s Barbakan is the largest in central Europe and is one of only a few that has remained intact.

Construction of royal residences on Wawel Hill has later developed into the complex of structures known today as Wawel Castle, one of Cracow’s most recognized sites. The grandeur of the interior architecture is similar to the outside. It is bustling with rare art, handmade furniture, and woodwork. Restorations and additions to Wawel Castle continued up to circa 1600 and as a result, the castle combines elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Sukiennice the cloth hall, also a Renaissance masterpiece, shows the prominence of decorative arts and architecture in Cracow. It originally modified from a towering Gothic building into a detailed Renaissance building. Today, it is rendered in the art nouveau style. Shopping in Sukiennice is a must for everyone that visits Cracow.

Do not forget to visit Cracow’s several museums such as the Archaeological Museum where among the Polish exhibits that range chronologically from the Neolithic age up to historical times, one may also see an impressive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts.