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The city of Cracow in Poland.

The second largest city of Poland and the country's ancient capital is sometimes spelled as Cracow in English although its correct English name is Krakow nowadays.  

Cracow in short. 

Cracow (Krakow) is the top tourist destination of Poland. The city basks in glory of its long history and it greatly treasures its reputation of the culture capital of Poland. Cracow's seven universities plus almost twenty other institutions of higher education make it the country’s leading center of science and education. The city's expanding service sector is the lifeblood of local economy but varied industry and production still provide substantial proportions of jobs and wealth. 

Cracow is the metropolis of southern Poland and the capital city of the Malopolska Province (Wojewodztwo Malopolskie). 


Population of Cracow.

The city has about 755,000 permanent residents and the Cracow conurbation totals some 1.5 million people. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city center may be somewhat misleading. Despite recent growth in the number of immigrants and expatriates, inhabitants of Cracow remain ethnically almost homogeneous and they proudly declare their Polish nationality. 

Krakow's Rynek Glowny grand square

Geography of Cracow, Poland.

Geographic coordinates of downtown Cracow are 50°04'N 19°56'E. The city lies in southern Poland on the banks of Wisla (Vistula) river. 

Cracow has area of 326.8 square kilometers which amounts to 0.1 percent of the territory of Poland. 

The average elevation of Cracow is about 220 meters above sea level. There are several hills in the city of which highest, Sowiniec, rises 384 meters above sea level.


History of Cracow.

The oldest artifacts excavated in Cracow date from the Paleolithic period (early Stone Age), some 200,000 years ago. Archeologists have established that the area was a regional center from the Neolithic period 6,000 BC. Cracow was already a thriving city circa 990 when the early rulers of Poland incorporated it into their newly created state. In 1038 Cracow gained the status of the capital of Poland. In 1257 Prince Boleslav the Shy gave the city self-government and key commercial privileges. Officially Cracow retained the title of Poland's capital to the end of the 18th century yet the political center had been transferred to Warsaw in 1611. From 1815 until 1846 Cracow with its environs enjoyed short-lived independence of sorts as a quasi-sovereign statelet called Cracow Republic to be annexed soon to the Austrian Empire. At the outset of the 20th century Cracow became the hub of the Polish national awakening and in 1918 it was the first Polish city to abolish the foreign rule. 

Wawel Hill

Cracow versus Krakow

The original spelling of the Polish name of the city is Kraków, pronounced ‘krakoof’. The slightly anglicized version 'Krakow' has been universally adopted in modern English since the middle of the 20th century. It replaced the older, now outdated spelling Cracow which was derived from the city's Latin name 'Cracovia' or possibly from the French 'Cracovie'. Nevertheless some native speakers prefer to use the written form Cracow for some reason whereas nonnative English speakers, including Krakow-born ones, often learn the old spelling from obsolete textbooks. 


Calendar of concerts and other events in Cracow.

Travel to Cracow
By plane, by bus, by train, by car.

Best hotels in Cracow

Hostels in Cracow and other low-cost accommodation

Rental holiday apartments in Cracow

Where to eat out in Cracow

Shopping in Cracow

Cracow tours and day-trips
Touring the city and the Malopolska region. 

 Real estate in Cracow


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