Krakow

    Krakow was an eye opening place. We were in the old town area and it has that feel of an old city. Apparently during the communist years, it was pretty much ignored. After Poland had its Velvet Revolution, Krakow began to renovate itself.

    Part of the problem was during and after the war, people just upped and left. Now that it was desirable once again, people were coming out of the woodwork claiming houses were theirs. An independant, international commission was set up to determine ownership. In most cases, most of the properties have been assigned now, but some are still being looked at. You can tell which ones are still under contension because they looked like they did fifteen years ago.

    Its a nice place to wander around though. Very nice feel to it. We went to a concert in a former palace that overlooked the main square, visited the castle and looked at a lot of the churches. Krakow has a lot of churches.

    We also visited the Wieliczka Salt Mine. A fasinating place. Carved out of salt, you go down to level six and start to wander through the miles of tunnels, coming out into chambers. Some of which are huge, others have statues carved into them and some are just big.

    It has a lake in which they use to go boating and set off fireworks, but unfortunately when we were there, it was being redeveloped. It didn't feel claustrophic, although getting the lift up and down, that I can see people getting a little paniced. We had nine of us packed into a space about 3ft by 6ft. Then they shift the lift and end up stacking four layers of people on top of each other before you descend into the darkness.


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Orava Castle in Slovakia
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Farmhouses in a Slovakian village
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Look, a sign!
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Emblem on a building in Krakow
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Artwork in Krakow
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Wawel Castle
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Looking upstream of the Wisla (Vistula) River
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Folk costumes in Krakow
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More parts of the parade
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An old, unrenovated building in Krakow
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We had a piano recital
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This was the piano
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Dining area of the hotel
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Monument to the holocaust victims
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The Wieliczka Salt Mine
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Queuing for the lift in the mine
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Just check out that control board
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They packed us into the lift, not for the clostrophobic
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This was the winch system they use to use for moving salt blocks
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Statue of Copernicus carved out of salt
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The Janowia Chamer (Princess Kinga being presented with her ring)
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Salt crystals
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The tunnels, its all salt
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Wooden supporting beams - original - some are over 500 years old
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One of the tunnels not open to visitors
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Tunnel taken with the flash
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Replica of the horse power winch
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Casimir the Great - Last Polish King of the Piast Dynasty
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How the mine use to operate
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Tunnel with original drains
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The original wooden pumps
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Holy Cross Chapel
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Last Supper Fresco, St Kinga's Chapel (101m underground)
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St Kinga's Chapel
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St Kinga's Chapel (Its huge!)
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Stanizlaw Staszix Chamber (50m high)
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St John's Chapel (135m underground)
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Leaving the mine
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Wawel Castle
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Statues by Wawel Castle
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Coat of arms, Wawel Castle
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Wawel Cathedral
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Wawel Cathedral
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Wawel's gargoyles
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Main courtyard
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Another gargoyle
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And yet more of the gargoyles
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Different architectures of Wawel castle
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Have some Latin
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More shots of the cathedral
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And the main entrance of the cathedral
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Kanonicza Street (Pope John Paul II went to Uni on the left)
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Church of Mary Magdoline
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St Andrew's Church - one of the few fortress churches (built 1079-1098)
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The local artist populations
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St Andrews again - The Mongols attacked it in 1241
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Rhinos are strangely common in Krakow
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Inside St Francis of Assisi's church
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Wall of St Francis of Assisi's
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The ceiling
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Inside the church
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Detail of the windows - these were considered too extravogant originally
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Jagiellonska Street with the Great College (Colligium Maius) on the left
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Main courtyard of the Great College
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Town Hall Tower in Krakow
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The Cloth Hall in Krakow's main square
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St Mary's Basillica
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The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) in the Market Square
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Tops of the towers of St Mary's
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Florian Gate
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Krakow's Barbican
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Bulls are quite popular
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Warszawski Street
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This arch is part of Czartoryski Museum
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Church of the Transfiguration
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Another shot of St Mary's
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Cloth Hall and Tower, main market square
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Krakow's trams
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A lion
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Grodzka St with St Andrew's in the background
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Another rhino
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And an elephant
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Just a building I liked
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Back at the churches
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Wawel Castle again
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I loved details on the buildings
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Wawel Castle again
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This was being developed next the hotel
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The backyards of the locals
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The folk dinner we went to
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The dancers/singers
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View from my hotel
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Last modified: May 27 2012 02:24:37.
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