Good evening everyone! I thought that I should give you an insight into one of the prettiest Easter European cities that I have visited so far. In my previous post, I talked about the delicious food that satisfied my extremely hungry belly so I wanted to save this post to talk about the charming city that is Krakow.
Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and is one of the most visited for a number of reasons. If you see some of my photos below, it represents some of my favourite spots in Krakow. I enjoyed wandering around the charming Krakow Castle with its mismatched buildings. So many royals have lived in this Castle and they have each added their own personal touch over the years. If you like architecture, there’s definitely different types in the Krakow Castle!
The Krakow Castle is now a museum but it is still worth a visit, if not to marvel at the statues and interesting architecture, visit the state rooms, explore the fine porcelain collection or view Leonardo Da Vinci’s exquisite oil painting named “Lady with an Ermine”. The painting has traveled around various parts of the world and now calls the Krakow Castle “home”. When you first walk into the darkly lit and intensely secure room, you are presented with Da Vinci’s remarkable work. It is definitely worth a visit but pictures are not allowed so make sure that you imprint it into memory.
As for Krakow as a city, it boasts the largest medieval town square in Europe. Even in the middle of a cold winter’s day, the square had charming feel to it.
Finally, a trip to Krakow is not complete without a visit to Auschwitz (old Nazi concentration camps). This was not the most beautiful part of my trip but it was definitely the most eye-opening. I knew of Krakow’s history and the fact that the Polish made up the majority of the war victims in these concentration camps, but nothing could prepare me for the horror and sadness that I felt when I visited Auschwitz.
The Auschwitz concentration camps are now museums and are used as a way to ensure that we never forget about the dark past. There are visible signs of what has happened, such as the cramped living quarters that the war prisoners had to live in that were not even fit to sleep horses, or the gas chambers that the prisoners were told to walk into after being told that it was a shower. Old photos of the camp showed a calm, collected number of people of different races, ages and backgrounds who were tricked into thinking that they were moving onto a better life. Instead, they were stripped of their suitcases, clothes and possessions and either used as slaves, experimented on or killed immediately. It was horrible to see the suitcases, glasses and shoes that are the remains of these people but comforting to know that what happened has not been forgotten and that the world has learnt a valuable lesson – that this sort of behaviour should never happen again!
I know that I write more about the concentration camps rather than the city itself, but apart from eating delicious food and sight-seeing, Auschwitz was the top reason why Krakow stood out as a place to visit. History can’t just be about fairy tale Kings and Castles (but if you’re interested, click here to read about a real life fairy tale King)!
Do you like visiting historical sites to learn about the dark past or to remember the good times that happened there? Comment below and tell me why.
Hope that you’re all having a beautiful week!