WAWEL CASTLE OVER THE OLD TOWN, AS THE GOOD PLACE TO START OR FINISH YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH KRAKOW AND POLAND
Wawel is one of the largest royal residences in Europe. Wawel is the school of history, architecture and art; this is apparent as you merely walk through its courtyards and the cathedral. Wawel is its own “universe” – impossible to imagine or grasp. Most Polish kings, their families, many statesmen, writers, and heroes are buried here. Wawel boasts plenty of exhibitions of different kinds. You can spend at least one day on this hill above Krakow’s Old Town and during our Private Krakow Tour by Car and Walk customized and in different variations. You will understand that Polish history is not to be comprehended; rather, it is to be felt. It is a temple of history, and a spiritual centre for many. So magnificent, that I have never met anybody whose breath wasn’t taken away by seeing this splendour!
Polish kings, heroes, statesmen are buried in the crypts of Wawel Cathedral which you can be guided through during our Private Walking Tour of Krakow. All three Polish National Bards are buried there too. The names of all three – Mickiewicz, Słowacki, and Krasiński – appear on avenues around the centre of Krakow, where You can find universities, libraries, museums, cinemas, and radio station headquarters. You can find statues and streets honouring Adam Mickiewicz all over the country and elsewhere too. During our Private Tours you can hear about the epic poem of Poland, Pan Tadeusz. It is his main opus – its invocation is taught to every Polish in school.
The dragon living under the Wawel really breathes fire. We are waiting for joy to see this. We feel safe because the dragon (archosaur) was defeated once by a boy … Who knows how many versions of this legend exist? But at the foot of the Wawel Castle and Wawel’s Dragon Wisła River continues to flow. Kings used these waters during the golden age of Poland, half millennium ago. Nowadays, we can bike along to the 1000 years old Benedictines Abbey in Tyniec, or to the Jewish Quarter and where the Nazi Ghetto used to be, nearby the Schindler’s Factory, and to the Nowa Huta former communist district with hundreds of blocks of flats, which used to look like the city from spy movies.
Schindler’s Factory Museum, as it is often called, is so well-known nowadays, that it may be difficult to imagine the poor conditions and greyness of the district where it is located, just thirty years ago. After the Spielberg movie, ranked by many as top ten in the history of Hollywood productions (Krakow is very often classified among the most beautiful cities in Europe), the area and topic got off the ground with this new, international focus. The Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, one of the biggest and oldest of this type in the world, was already a fixture of Krakow’s cultural life. We can enjoy and learn all things Jewish. We can participate in different tours including Private Tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau or the ones to movie locations. The Oskar Schindler’s apartment is located just below the Wawel Castle and Cathedral. When I visited his grave in Jerusalem’s Catholic cemetery, I had the puzzle of all these locations in my mind, the faces of people whom he rescued; they are presented by the gate to Schindler’s Factory nowadays. I had the great honour to meet members of different families who were rescued during the war.
There are many churches in Krakow, but only on the most special occasions (the election of pope or death of the president), the Royal Sigismund Bell chimes. It will remain long in your heart – deep sound from Wawel Hill. The famous bugle call from St. Mary’s Church may be heard, in contrast, each and every hour, and almost always during our Private Tours of Krakow. The trumpeters climb up the stairs to play it in four directions of the earth. It may be one of the world’s oldest traditions. Each day at noon, Polskie Radio broadcasts this melody … and suddenly it stops, to commemorate the year 1241, when Krakow was invaded by the Tartars. After that, while the city was being rebuilt, it gradually became one of the richest and most cultured capitals of Europe. And the Wawel always shines above us, with its towers, history, and spiritual power.
Christopher and his team from Private Tours Krakow are our long-years experienced experts for all Poland. They are always ready to offer You all tour and transportation services of the highest and luxury class to many highlight and unusual destinations.