Krakow, on the banks of the Vistula River in the southern region of Malopolska,
is one of Poland’s oldest and largest cities. The average yearly temperature
in this region is a chilly 8 degrees celcius, although winter months see temperatures
drop dramatically, especially in the nearby mountains.
The earliest settlement, on Wawel hill, dates from the 4th century. By the end of the 10th century, Krakow had become a major regional trade centre, and, under the control of the Polish Piast dynasty, became the seat of the Polish government in 1038.
After its destruction during the Tartar invasions in the early 13th century, the city was rebuilt in the form we know today. Central Europe’s second university was established here in 1364. The city’s cultural importance is also confirmed by early achievements such as the establishment of a printing press in 1500 and the construction of the largest churchbell in Poland in 1520. Shortly afterwards, however, the city went into decline and the nation’s capital was moved to Warsaw in 1596.
In the late 18th century, with the division of Poland, Krakow became part of
the Austrian province of Galicia. The 1815 Congress of Vienna established Krakow
as a free city, until an unsuccessful uprising in 1846 again led to the city’s
annexation by Austria. During World War I the Polish people again fought for
liberation, and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 reestablished a sovereign Polish
state. World War II saw further upheavals, and Krakow was occupied by German
forces in 1939, leading to heavy destruction of the city’s cultural heritage.
Since the end of WWII, Krakow’s population has quadrupled, and its cultural
importance confirmed, with the city named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978
and a European City of Culture in 2000.
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|Bochnia - 22.6 mi|
Bochnia is a picturesque and historical town situated on the Raba River in southern Poland and is the administrative capital of Bochnia County. Located 35 km south of Krakow, ...