World Heritage #0029 – Cracow’s Historic Centre

Jul 14, 2010North and Central Europe, Poland, World Heritage Sites

What a splendid city, today peaceful and rich with things to do, historically with experiences of a terrible nature.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

Country: Poland

Date of Inscription: 1978

Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 29:

“The historic centre of Cracow, the former capital of Poland, is situated at the foot of the Royal Wawel Castle. The 13th-century merchants’ town has Europe’s largest market square and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches with their magnificent interiors. Further evidence of the town’s fascinating history is provided by the remnants of the 14th-century fortifications and the medieval site of Kazimierz with its ancient synagogues in the southern part of town, Jagellonian University and the Gothic cathedral where the kings of Poland were buried.”


My visit

I had a few days in Krakow in 2010. I wrote this in my diary:

“Krakow has had its ups and downs over the centuries. World War 2 really put Krakow back on the map, once more. The Jewish community was segregated from the rest of the population. They had to live under harsh conditions in a ghetto. There is still a market, a few restaurants and a synagogue or two, but few people of that religion live in the city. I strolled through the old district, entered a synagogue and ventured out behind it and found this old cemetery…”

Read more about my visit.

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