Guide of Cracow

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The Remuh Synagogue is named after Rabbi Moses Isserles c.1525-1572, known by the Hebrew acronym ReMA, who's famed for writing a collection of commentaries and additions that complement Rabbi Yosef Karo's Shulchan Aruch, with Ashkenazi traditions and customs. Remuh Synagogue is the smallest of all historic synagogues of the Kazimierz district of Kraków. It is currently the only active synagogue in the city. The entrance to the synagogue courtyard is located at 40 Szeroka St. at the heart of the historic Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Above the gate is an arch with the Hebrew inscription: "The new synagogue of the ReMA, of blessed memory” The courtyard walls carry inscriptions in memory of the Jews of Kraków who perished in the Holocaust.

 

Wawel Cathedral (the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Stanisław and Vaclav) is a church located on Wawel Hill in Kraków, which is Poland's national sanctuary. It has a 1,000-year history and was the traditional coronation site of Polish monarchs. It is the cathedral of the archdiocese of Kraków. Pope John Paul II offered his first Mass as a priest in the Crypt of the Cathedral on 2 November 1946 and later as Pope considered being buried there. The Cathedral comprises a nave with aisles, transepts with aisles, a choir with double aisles, and an apse with ambulatory and radiating chapel.

 

ST. MARY'S BASILICASt. Mary's Basilica is a Brick Gothic church re-built in the 14th century (originally built in the early 13th century), adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków. Standing 80m (262ft) tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz).On every hour, a trumpet signal — called the heynal (hejnał) — is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station.

 

THE JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITYThe Jagiellonian University was originally founded as Akademia Krakowska (English: Cracow Academy) in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, it is the second oldest university in Central Europe after the Charles University in Prague, and one of the oldest universities in Europe. It was renamed as the Jagiellonian University in 1817 to commemorate the Jagiellonian dynasty of Polish kings. The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Jagiellonian University as the best Polish university in 2006.

 

Kazimierz is a historical district of Kraków, best known for being home to a Jewish community from the 14th century until the Second World War. Since 1988, a popular annual Jewish Cultural Festival has drawn Cracovians back to the heart of the Oppidum and re-introduced Jewish culture to a generation of Poles who have grown up without Poland’s historic Jewish community. In 1993, Steven Spielberg shot his film Schindler's List largely in Kazimierz and this drew international attention to Kazimierz. Since 1993, there have been parallel developments in the restoration of important historic sites in Kazimierz and a booming growth in Jewish-themed restaurants, bars, bookstores and souvenir shops. A Jewish youth group now meets weekly in Kazimierz and the Remuh Synagogue actively serves a small congregation of mostly elderly Cracovian Jews.

 

PLANTY PARKPlanty Park encircles the District of Stare Miasto (Old Town), where the medieval city walls used to stand. The park has an area of 21,000 square metres (52 acres) and a length of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). It consists of a chain of thirty smaller gardens designed in varied styles and adorned with numerous monuments and fountains. The park forms a scenic walkway popular with Cracovians. In summer, sprinkled with ponds and refreshment stalls, it is a cool and shady retreat from the nearby bustling streets. Most historic sites of the old Kraków are located inside the Planty park belt along the Royal Road (Polish: Droga Królewska) crossing the park from the medieval suburb of Kleparz through Florian Gate at the northern flank of the old city walls. The historic Wawel Castle at the Wawel Hill, adjacent to Vistula River meander, form the southernmost border of Planty.

 

 TO DO

  • Walk the entire Royal Way, from St. Florian's Gate, down Florianska, across the Rynek Glowny, down Grodzka to the Wawel castle.
  • Listen to the Hejnal Mariacki (Trumpet Signal) while sipping a coffee in the Rynek Glowny. The signal is played live every full hour and is cut suddenly in memory of a trumpeter shot and killed by a Tatar arrow in 1241.
  • Early on Sunday, go shopping at the open air flea markets at Plac Nowy and Hala Targowa.
     

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