The Great Barbican of Krakow
Krakow's main city gate, Brama Florianska, was made
insurmountable in the beginning of the l6th century thanks
to Europe's mightiest barbican. The circular marvel of
military architecture surrounds space 24.4 meter in
diameter. Its high walls are three meters thick. The awesome
structure, topped with seven turrets, has 130 loopholes in
four rows: the lower to be used by artillery, the upper for
archers and riflemen.
In the past the Krakow barbican (Barbakan in Polish) was
surrounded by a 30-meter-wide, deep moat. However, if the
enemy had forced their way in, they would have found
themselves entrapped inside and shoot at from all sides. The
barbican was connected with the Brama Florianska gate tower
by a drawbridge and a walled passage.
Nowadays the 500-year-old fortification serves occasionally
for a summer concert hall, theater etc.
Tour of the Krakow barbican
The barbican is included in the tour of the
Brama Florianska gate tower and adjacent medieval
fortifications. They are open to visitors daily
from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the high season, namely between
April 1st and October 31st. Sightseers enter through the Baszta Pasamonikow tower at the eastern end of Pijarska
street at Szpitalna street. Besides the barbican the tour
consists of the parapet walk of the remnants of the city
walls, the neo-Gothic upstairs chapel of the Brama
Florianska gate, and the Brama Stolarska tower. A regular
ticket costs seven
Wawel Royal Castle
Home to three dynasties of Poland's monarchs. Its
stately halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless
art, best period furniture and rare ancient objects. The
collection of the 16th-century monumental Flemish
tapestries is matchless.
Poland's impressive national shrine shelters plenty of
superb church art. Its giant bell of 1520 ranks with the
world's largest. Most Polish kings and their family members are
buried in the cathedral, its chapels and crypts.
Krakow’s central Grand Square (Rynek Glowny), the
largest plaza of medieval Europe and one of the world’s finest
with its spectacular landmarks, has remained the hub of the city
since the 13th century.
Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
The immense Gothic church, Krakow's principal temple
since the 13th century, shelters the world's greatest Gothic sculpture among its many excellent works of art
The world's oldest shopping mall has been in business
for 700 years. The present Renaissance edifice dates from 1555.
Town Hall Tower
Krakow's leaning tower was built by the end of the 13th
700-year-old main city gate with adjoining mighty walls
Planty Garden Ring
Park of 30 varied gardens among old trees round
Krakow's Old Town historical district
15th-century impressive Grand College of the Krakow
university where Copernicus once studied.
Picturesque 17th-century church and monastery shelter
numerous naturally mummified bodies in their crypts.
The most beautiful of Europe's ancient streets,