Zuiderdam MegaVoyage 2018-2019, Krakow, Poland, Part 2 of 2

Arriving Krakow we did the usual, dropped our bags at the hotel and went out touring…the hotel was very close to the Main Market Square which was packed with people…the Market Square is the largest square in Europe and it was alive on a Friday evening with locals, tourists, street venders, musicians and cafes…leaving the square we did a Golf Cart tour of the Old Town Quarter to get a feel for the area. We were dropped off at the base of Wawel Castle and we walked along the Vistula River crossing the river for a good view of the castle…we stopped at the Voker Restaurant and went up to the rooftop cafe for a drink and excellent views of the castle…we walked back to Old Town and the Market Square taking in all Krakow had to offer. Krakow is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was one of the few eastern European cities to escape bombing in World War II, so many of the city streets and architecture remains like it was before the war. During Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II, Krakow became one of the most important administrative cities of the Third Reich. As the Nazis turned Krakow into a completely German city, the Jews were confined into overcrowded ghettos and were later deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps. In 1945, Soviet forces “liberated” Poland from Nazi rule…Poland, remained under Soviet rule until the fall of communism in 1989. The following morning we did a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter, seeing the Old Synagogue, Kazimierz Monument, Helena Rubinstein birthplace and Schindler’s List Passage…leaving the Jewish Quarter we walked to Wawel Castle, climbed the Wawel Hill to the Castle courtyard and the Wawel Cathedral, we visited the cathedral and returned to the base of the hill to continue our touring of the Old Town…we walked in a section of Planty Park the former moat and remnants of the city’s medieval walls…arriving at the historic Jagiellonian University and onto the expansive Rynek Glówny (Main Market Square), here we saw the Cloth Hall, a Renaissance era trading outpost, St. Mary’s Basilica, the Town Hall Tower and the St. Adalbert Church, the oldest church in Krakow…from here we left our guide Elizabeth and returned to the hotel to pack up and leave for Warsaw…We liked this charming city very much.

* This article was originally published here

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