If you are planning a holiday to Kraków and want to explore places of interest that are not on the usual tourists trails, then we can help you. Below we share 5 of the most unusual places for you to explore when in Kraków.
1. The Wawel Dragon
When you visit the Wawel Cathedral you will be able to see the bones of the ancient wiener dragon known as the Wawel Dragon. These bones are hung in a bundle from the impressively high ceiling just as you step foot through the Cathedral’s entrance. Legend has it that the dragon lived in a cave under the city and that once a month it would brave the city to eat a young woman, who would have been sacrificed. It is widely acknowledged in folklore that the dragon was eventually killed by a local hero.
2. Rynek Underground
Located underneath the city’s market square is the archeological area known as the Rynek underground. This archeological museum showcases Kraków’s history, with visitors first introduced to the 14th Century. Only 300 visitors are allowed into the underground, so it may be best to book before you go. There’s an entrance fee for the underground although on a Tuesday it offers free admission.
3. Nowa Huta
The district known as Nowa Huta was built by the Soviets in 1949. The area had been bombed and destroyed during the Second World War. The area was originally built for 100,000 people. Today when you visit you can clearly see the wide streets that are lined by trees, that were designed specifically to shield inhabitants from a nuclear bombardment. This attention to detail and the level of social realist construction is clearly evident as you walk around the area. For more tips about this area you can check out this handy guide for travelling in Poland.
4. Liban Quarry
The Liban Quarry is a replica of the Nazi Labour Camp that was based at Płaszów. The replica was used for the 1992 film Schindler’s List. Although a film set, it was very much based upon real life with the original blueprints being used. The quarry today is very much overgrown and is somewhat crumbling, but the horror of what happened there must not be forgotten. The quarry is situated only a short distance away from the centre of Kraków and is free to enter.
5. Collegium Maius
The Collegium Maius, or Great College as it is known, is one of the oldest buildings in Poland. It is well known for its interesting, historic instruments. Housed within Jagiellonian University, the Great College was home to the eminent scientist, Nicholas Copernicus, who found that the sun was at the centre of the universe, and not the Earth which was the popular thought at that time. Today the Great College is a museum that has an impressive display of scientific artefacts that date back to the 16th Century. Ancient telescopes, globes and clocks can all be seen in the museum.