Worth to visit
Kraków's historic centre, which includes the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, was included as the first of its kind on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978.72 The Stare Miasto is the most prominent example of an old town in the country.73 For many centuries Kraków was the royal capital of Poland, until Sigismund III Vasa relocated the court to Warsaw in 1596. The whole district is bisected by the Royal Road, the coronation route traversed by the Kings of Poland. The Route begins at St. Florian's Church outside the northern flank of the old city-walls in the medieval suburb of Kleparz; passes the Barbican of Kraków (Barbakan) built in 1499, and enters Stare Miasto through the Florian Gate. It leads down Floriańska Street through the Main Square, and up Grodzka to Wawel, the former seat of Polish royalty, overlooking the Vistula river. Old Town attracts visitors from all over the World. Kraków historic centre is one of the 13 places in Poland that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The architectural design of the district had survived all cataclysms of the past and retained its original form coming from the medieval times. The Old Town of Kraków is home to about six thousand historic sites and more than two million works of art.74 Its rich variety of heritage architecture includes Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Kraków's palaces, churches, theatres and mansions display great variety of color, architectural details, stained glass, paintings, sculptures, and furnishings.
The Kraków Uprising of February 1846 was an attempt, led by Polish insurgents such as Jan Tyssowski and Edward Dembowski, to incite a fight for national independence. The uprising was centered on the city of Kraków, the capital of a small state of Free City of Kraków. It was directed at the powers that partitioned Poland, in particular, the nearby Austrian Empire. The uprising lasted about nine days, and ended with Austrian victory.
Historical facts - after 1918
After the war, under the Polish People's Republic, the intellectual and academic community of Kraków was put under total political control. The universities were soon deprived of printing rights and autonomy.63 The Stalinist government ordered the construction of the country's largest steel mill in the newly created suburb of Nowa Huta.64 The creation of the giant Lenin Steelworks (now Sendzimir Steelworks owned by Mittal) sealed Kraków's transformation from a university city to an industrial centre.65 The new working class, drawn by the industrialisation of Kraków, contributed to rapid population growth.
In an effort that spanned two decades, Karol Wojtyła, cardinal archbishop of Kraków, successfully lobbied for permission to build the first churches in the new industrial suburbs.6566 In 1978, Wojtyła was elevated to the papacy as John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In the same year, UNESCO placed Kraków Old Town on the first-ever list of World Heritage Sites.