From Poland

This postcard is from iastusthem at Postcrosser from Poland.  I saw it on his blog and asked if he would swap with me, as I like nightscenes, and here it is. It show a variety of the most famous locations in the  Main Square in the city of Krakow (or Cracow.)      

   

Cloth Hall  or Sukiennice

This is possibly the oldest mall in the world! It has been functioning in various guises since the 1300s, when it began life as a line of stall selling mostly textiles, and a place for traders to meet and carry out their deals.  Now days there are stalls and shops selling mostly souvenirs on the lower level, and Krakow National Museum upstairs.

The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.  

This church was originally built prior to 1300, and rebuilt again there-after. The current building was completed in 1397 but the towers were added in the 15th Century. The lower tower contains five bells, and from the higher watchtower a hejnal ( bugle) plays every hour. This church is most famous for its carved altar which is the largest surviving piece of medieval art of its kind. The feature that I would most want to see is the 14th century stained glass. It would also be quite some experience to hear Mass said in Latin in such a place!! There are many websites featuring the church.    

Adalbert’s Church

This is the oldest church in Poland. Its origins are in the last years of the 10th Century. Legend has it that Saint Adalbert    consecrated the church in 997. The first church on the site was a wooden structure, with a stone building being built in the 12th century. The building’s present appearance is due to 18th century renovations.  An unusual feature of this church is that the interior is below the level of the surrounding plaza, due to the pavement of the plaza rising a couple of metres over the centuries as it was re-paved. 

 Town Hall Tower

The Town Hall was built in the late 13th century, and demolished in 1820 in an effort to improve the Main Square. The tower is the only remaining part of the building, and has an unfortunate lean of 55cm as a result of a severe storm in 1703. Reputedly the original occupants of the town hall cellars were a torture chamber and a beer hall, nowadays fortunately replaced with a café and a theatre.  Visitors can also climb the 100 steps of the tower up to great views of the city of Krakow.

Monument of Adam Mickiewicz

Adam Mickiewicz was a famous Polish poet of the 19th century. Strangely, he never visited Krakow in life, but in 1890 his remains were brought there from Paris, where he had been buried, after first having been buried in Istanbul where he died in 1855!!! So after his third burial he rests peacefully in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.

The bronze monument was unveiled on June 16th, 1898 exactly 100 years after Mickiewicz’s birth. In 1940 during the Second World War the monument was ruined by the Nazis. Fortunately in 1946 most parts of it were located in a scrap metal yard in Hamburg, Germany so it was able to be restored to its original condition.

Krakow appears to be a fascinating city with an enormous amount of history and amazing buildings. This is recognized by the fact that the centre of Krakow is a Unesco World Heritage area.  Another location to add to the places to visit in my dreams!!!! :0

And for us geocachers – well, there are currently 50 caches  within 10 miles of the Main Square.

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2 responses to “From Poland

  1. hi!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! and glad to see you’ll be apart of the calendar! Yahoo! Mom’s part polish and loved to learn a little history here. Your geocaching is quite extraordinary.
    norwood

  2. Hi Norwood & Debi,
    Thanks for your comment. Wow – Debi, that’s cool that you enjoyed learning about Krakow. I would have never thought of Poland as a country to put on my ‘places to visit’ but there sounds like so much history and beautiful churches to visit. So I’ll be adding another country to my dream list!! Have you ever been able to visit Poland yourself?

    Annie