Welcome to Krakow, a city wrapped in legend, where time flows differently, and where every moment becomes a moment of history. For centuries Krakow was the capital of Poland, the seat of kings, drawing great scholars and artists from the whole world. It is their talents and imagination we must thank for the city's rich legacy of unique historical relics, which reflect the most important trends in European culture.
The renaissance Royal Castle at Wawel, the gothic St Mary's Basilica, the historical trade pavilions of the Cloth Hall, the former separate Jewish city of Kazimierz, and even the Nowa Huta district, absorbed by Krakow together with its socialist-realist, industrial architecture, are all places which make a visit to Krakow extremely worthwhile.
Although the city no longer plays such an important administrative role, for many people, thanks to its rich history, Krakow nevertheless represents a synthesis of all things Polish, connecting tradition with modernity. In the special atmosphere of the beautiful and mysterious streets of the Old Town and Kazimierz you will find everything you need to allow you to escape from everyday life. Galleries full of exhibitions, cafes, pubs and restaurants: all of this is an integral part of any visit to Krakow. And all this is merely a modest part of what we can offer travellers seeking exciting destinations on the world map.
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Climate - Krakow lies in a region of temperate climate. Weather changes are frequent due to the friction of humid air masses arriving from the Atlantic Ocean and dry, continental air masses coming in from the east. The average annual temperature fluctuates between 6° to 10° C. July is the warmest month and January the coldest. Western winds, conducive to rainfall, blow in summer, whereas in winter there are predominantly eastern winds, decreasing the amount of precipitation
Location - Krakow lies in the southern part of Poland on the Vistula River in a valley at the foot of the Carpathian Plateau, 219 meters above sea level. Approximately 300 km (190 miles) north is Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and 100 km (60 miles) south are the Tatra Mountains, forming the southern border of the country. The city covers an area of 327 sq. km, equal to 0.1% of the country's surface area.
The Royal Route - Krakow was the capital of the country until the 17th century. The Royal Route started at the defensive Barbican and led through Florian's Gate, called "Portae Gloriae", and then into Main Square, now the city's central square. Whichever street we choose we can get to Main Square - the heart of the city, a place attracting tourists with pubs, cafes, music and the hum of people's voices. Everything representing Krakow's merchant tradition is contained in souvenirs that you can buy in a large building, not to be found anywhere else, called the Gothic Cloth Hall. From the Main Square, Grodzka Street leads to Wawel Hill, which is also called "the Polish Acropolis". The cathedral dominating this spot used to be the place where the coronation of Polish kings was held; it was also their burial place. The nearby Renaissance castle was the residence of kings of the Piast and Jagiellon dynasties, and a member of the Vasas, who, when moving out "took" the capital with him to Warsaw. The Royal Route led to places where Polish state's political and spiritual life was concentrated. As the centuries passed Wawel Cathedral became the burial place of national heroes. It gained the status of a national sanctuary and became a symbol of the nation's spiritual identity and permanence.