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Magical Kraków

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Kraków's Main Square with St. Mary's Church

Having lived in Kraków, I find it hard to blog about it: there is just so much to say. It’s such a great place, special in so many ways, and returning there always feels like recharging batteries. The Main Square especially, even though it is probably the most touristy part of town, has this special energy. First, there is the scale: with sides about 200 meters long it is one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. Then there is history: over the ages the square has been its witness. From the spot now marked by a church where St. Adalbert (Wojciech) preached back in the 10th century, through the place of homage by Prince Albert Hohenzollern of Prussia to Polish King Zygmunt I in 1525, the location where Tadeusz Kościuszko took an oath to defend the country against foreign partitions in 1794, to the commemorative plaque placed there upon Poland’s entry into the EU in 2004. Finally, there is the atmosphere: old churches next to hip cafes, high-end restaurants competing with obwarzanki stands (Polish version of a bagel), kids chasing pigeons around the local landmark of poet Adam Mickiewicz’s statue affectionately known as “Adaś”… Life here flows to the rhythm of Hejnał Mariacki, traditional tune played by a trumpeter each hour from the tower of the stunning St. Mary’s Church. Read the rest of this entry

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