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Experience Medieval Poland In Krakow

Updated on March 29, 2009

 Krakow is the awe inspiring Polish city where Pope John Paul II was born and unlike Warsaw which has changed often with the times and is now a thoroughly modern European capital, this medieval city has maintained the grand traditions of Poland. It escaped the destruction that came with of WWII and for this reason is is one of those few Eastern European cities that are protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Krakow has the privilege of hosting the works of some of the greatest architects of history. Its medieval buildings and churches are world renowned as some of the finest in Poland. Almost every part of this marvelous city tells a tale of a grand historical event and the magnificent, verdant Planty Park is certainly no exception. The park now stands were once there was a moat around the Old Town. The moat was filled in and this amazing park now circles the walls of the medieval city.

On the summer solstice evening, the Vistula riverside is the venue for a superlative medieval festival featuring gypsy merchants offering handcrafted unique items and Renaissance market square street performers ply their trade, entertaining the assembled multitudes. Shopping for extremely special treasures is not limited to the Vistula River Festival time, as the Cloth Guild Hall now serves as a shopping center where a wide variety of goods can be purchased directly from the many merchants and craftsmen of Krakow.

Krakow is renowned for its myriad of superlative restaurants serving up the most extravagant traditional meals anywhere in Poland. The Market Square which is adjacent to the Guild Hall is the location for a wide variety of clubs, bars, shops and restaurants. Gastronomy in Krakow is a heritage tradition that dates back to the famously opulent medieval and Renaissance feasts as well as the luxuriant Baroque extravaganzas of the monied gentry gourmets which once dominated this city. Dining in Krakow is an amazing experience as there are many fine establishments which still specialize in that opulent form of cuisine where no expense is spared to provide only the finest possible ingredients prepared with finesse, technique and passion.

Pod Baranem on ul. Sw. Gertrudy 21 is located just 200 yards from the Wawel Royal Castle and features a wide variety of memorable handcrafted Polish cuisine where everything is personally prepared, right down to the sauces and mayonnaise. Amadeus on 20 Mikolajska Street in the Old Town is another magnificent example of this cuisine. Right in the middle of the Old Town, on the side of the Main Square lies Pod Krzyzykiem on 39 Rynek Glowny. This restaurant dates back to 1580 and for centuries has been a meeting place for generations of artists and intellectuals who have come to feast on this venue’s renowned signature dishes of herring, pierogi, wild boar, and beef tartar as well as prime meats and sumptuous desserts.

Krakow is the ultimate Polish city to visit in order to truly sample life in medieval times, and it is a fantastic experience that will be long remembered. After all, it is the only place in the world which was the birthplace of the first non Italian Pope Saint!

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