Krakow: Castles & Hipster Wonderlands

On my second day in Krakow, I visited Wawel Castle, before walking over to the old Jewish quarter.

Wawel Castle was built in the 13th century and over the following centuries, was expanded upon. The original building is Gothic in style. It has been used for a variety of purposes, including a royal palace, army stronghold, presidential residence, and today a national museum, housing amongst other things the crown treasury and armoury.

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

Pope John Paul II was born near Krakow and, before becoming the pope, served as the Archbishop of Krakow.

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

krakow jewish quarter wawel castle poland

The old Jewish quarter of Krakow, in an area called Kazimirez, is very historical. It has been a centre of Jewish culture in Krakow since 1495. During World War II, the Nazis set up a ghetto in the area and most of the Jewish population were sent to the ghetto, before being moved to concentration camps. Director Roman Polanski grew up here and is one of the survivors of the ghetto.

Of course, the world keeps turning and today, the area is a vibrant area popular with artists and creative types, full of trendy bars and cafes. Dotted throughout the area are residences and a few markets too. This was probably my favourite part of Krakow. A fascinating blend of the old and new.

There’s lots of street art in the Jewish Quarter, as well as an appropriation of lots of communist era paraphernalia for bars going for an “ironic communist chic” thing.

The fresh produce on sale at this outdoor market was brilliant.  Beautiful fruit and vegetables of the highest quality.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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