Poland is located in the middle of Europe, and its special geographical location makes it an important bridge connecting the eastern and western regions of the European continent. When I arrived in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, I was warmly received by a friend who lived in Warsaw many years ago. When discussing the tour route, my friend said, “You must go to Krakow and take a look!” His unquestionable tone aroused my curiosity, and immediately asked: “Why?” He replied with a slight smile: “Krakow is the oldest city in Poland. In the 15th century, it had traded goods with China through the Silk Road. At that time, its prosperity was comparable to that of Chang’an in ancient my country. Although it has been baptized by wind and frost, it still maintains its former style. And once again integrated into the China-Poland trade.” After listening to my friend’s words, I immediately developed a strong interest in Krakow.
Departing from Warsaw by train, we arrived in Krakow in southern Poland in about two and a half hours. As soon as you get out of the station, a simple and elegant atmosphere blows on your face, and the buildings that come into view are antique and show the beauty of art. Founded in the 7th century, Krakow was the capital of Poland during the Renaissance, when Poland was the most powerful country in eastern Europe. As a political, economic, cultural and scientific center of a country, Krakow has been constructed and developed on a large scale. The famous astronomer Copernicus studied at the University of Krakow. Due to the developed textile industry and textile import and export trade, Krakow has won the reputation of “textile city”. Due to the well-preserved ancient style and ancient charm, Krakow was included in the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1978, and was listed as one of the 12 best art cities in the world.
newlyweds taking wedding photos
Walking on the street and stepping on the gravel road, a sense of long history arises spontaneously. Looking around, the houses on both sides of the street, Gothic and Baroque, are arranged in a random order. The reliefs on the walls and the three-dimensional statues at the top of the house are exquisite and delicate, the characters are lifelike, and the scenery is vivid, showing a strong artistic atmosphere. The most striking of the many buildings is a castle-style theater in the city, built in 1499 and still in use today. This kind of castle building is rare in Europe, and it is rare that it remains so intact. While walking, I found that there were iron chains of different lengths fixed on the walls of some small streets, which surprised me. After inquiring, I learned that this is a kind of news reporting facility for people to save the drunk in ancient times. When walking in the narrow streets, the staggered body will keep hitting the iron chains, making a clanging sound, and people nearby will come to help them when they hear it, so as to avoid accidents. I really did not expect that there are public facilities with such humanistic care in this ancient city.
The most charming and historic part of Krakow is the Central Square with the reputation of “the largest medieval square in Europe”. The center of the square is a large shopping mall. It was built in 1257. Because it was mainly a place for businessmen to deal with fabrics and negotiate import and export textile business, it was called the Textile Hall, and the central square was also called the Textile Square. The shopping mall is built in the center of the square, which is the first time I have seen it in many cities at home and abroad that I have visited. The first floor of the mall is full of stalls selling various Polish ethnic art, mainly embroidery, amber, wood products, dishes and tableware, Polish dolls, etc. The basement of the shopping mall is the National Museum, and the second floor is a museum gallery with many art treasures, including the classic works of famous painters from Poland and the world from the 18th to 19th centuries.
On the east side of the square is a brick red St. Mary’s Cathedral, which is a landmark building in Krakow. Every hour on the hour, a small window at the top of the church bell tower will open, and a small golden trumpet will play a tune. At the end of the song, the player will lean over and wave to the people in the square, while the locals in the square will respond with applause and whistles, and pay attention to the church. It turns out that there is an unusual story behind this move: according to legend, in the 8th century, an iron hoof approached Krakow. When someone in the church found the enemy invading, they blew the horn and reported the news to the people in the city, and the enemy soldier shot through it with an arrow. The trumpet stopped abruptly at the throat of the player. And that moment was on the hour, and after that, to commemorate the player, every hour, the trumpet would sound from the church bell tower.
There are also statues of Polish patriotic poet Mickiewicz and ornamental sculptures of different sizes and styles on the square. Around the sculpture, some street performers showed their skills, some played classic music with accordion and trumpet, and some drew sketches for tourists or performed color spray painting performances with drawing boards, which was very lively. From time to time, high-headed horses are passing by classical passenger vehicles. The crisp sound of horseshoes and melodious music reverberate in the square, making this medieval square full of charming vitality.