Kraków is one of the most beautiful and certainly one of the most popular cities in Poland. It attracts millions of tourists from all around the world. Visitors admire its historical charm, but it is worth knowing, that there are also some interesting Krakow curiosities waiting for travelers!
Pałac pod Murzynami (‘under Negros’ Palace)
If you are starting your sightseeing tour from the city center it is worth to focus on architecture. Anyone who have spent at least one day in Kraków remembers its historical houses – very colorful, various and mostly renovated. While walking through the Market Square into Floriańska St. take a look on the right. You will going to see a figure of half-naked Negro under the small arcade at one of the city palaces. This tenement is so-called ‘Under Negros Palace’. Whence does its name come from and what does exactly the relief depict? And finally, how to associate black people with 16th-century Krakow? Well, it turns out that after new geographical discoveries, fascination of everything that was exotic grew up very quickly. Owners of this tenement run here a pharmacy and by the figure of Negro they encouraged to use their services, offering sophisticated, sometimes exotic medicines. Ingenious, right?
Two towers of St. Mary’s Church
As you can see one tower of St. Marys’s Baisilica is much higher than the other one. Well, according to an extremely interesting legend, towers were built by two competing brothers. One of them worked faster, so the other killed the better one in a moment of anger and jealousy. But he could not bear the fratricide, so he stopped raising his tower at today’s high and jumped from it committing suicide. How much truth is in this story? Nobody knows that. What is also interesting You can hear a bugle call played from the tower every hour. This tradition comes from the times of Mongol invasion in the middle of the 13th century. One of the city defenders where shot by an arrow during playing on trumpet. Today bugle call is performed by two men who works on 24-hour duty. Each of them performs a song 48 times (every hour to a different side of the world).
Kraków, just like many other Polish cities, was under Nazi occupation for a very long time. But not everyone knows that Germans built many shelters that had to serve them during the city air raids or artilleries attack. Some of shelters are well preserved till today, eg. the one under the Plac Inwalidów (one of the city squares). It is not wide open and available to explore daily, but you can visit it after some negotiations with the society that takes care of it. Numerous of shelters were built at Nowa Huta in early 50’s and 60’s, because the authorities were afraid of a nuclear attack (they assumed that steels and ironworks may be bombed at the beginning of a new war). So basements in the oldest buildings of Nowa Huta were designed as shelters for new residents. They was designed to save hundreds of people. Moreover, shelters were built on high-level with professional solutions – equipped with air conditioning and air purification systems. Impressive, right?
Underground Market Square and other Krakow curiosities
One of the main attractions of the city (and one of the latest), is the space under the Main Market Square that few years ago was opened to tourists as a result of archeologists’ work. Here, in one of the most interesting museums in Europe, You can travel in time to medieval Krakow and see how everyday life looked like (thanks to preserved relicts of old buildings, roads, cemeteries and many useful objects, eg. coins, pottery etc.). Also you cannot miss fantastic multimedia solutions and special effects. Try going through the medieval mist!
It is difficult to write about all Krakow curiosities in few words. We offer You Krakow sightseeing with our guides, who will definitely intrigue you even more…