UNESCO World Heritage Sites
in Krakow and in the Vicinity
Such monuments as Egyptian pyramids and
the Great Wall of China are important to the
entire humankind, and UNESCO (United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization) has listed them all as the world
heritage sites. Four of those world's treasures are
in Krakow or nearby.
Old Town Historical District
prime tourist attraction, the country's capital
since 1038 to 1791, Krakow boasts numerous
landmarks. Its historic area's grid of streets
with the huge central Grand
Square, Europe’s largest in the Middle
Ages, dates from 1257 and seems the last stage in
the perfection of medieval city planning. It is
also the best example of that art.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Millions of visitors, the crowned heads and such
celebrities as Goethe and Sarah Bernhardt among
them, have enthused over that subterranean world
of labyrinthine passages, giant caverns,
underground lakes and chapels with sculptures in
the crystalline salt and rich ornamentation
carved in the salt rock. The last 900 years, when
the Wieliczka Salt Mine has been worked, produced
200 kilometers of passages as well as 2,040
caverns of varied size.
The site of the Nazi notorious Auschwitz death camp
is an hour’s drive from Krakow. Between June
1941 and January 1945 about one million men,
women and children perished in the three
Auschwitz concentration camps–i.e. Auschwitz
proper, Birkenau and Monowitz–and their more
than forty sub-camps.
Sanctuary in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
400-year-old vast complex of 42 churches and
chapels of all shapes and sizes in addition to
the central basilica and the Franciscan monastery
is biggest such compound in Europe.
Churches of Malopolska
of centuries-old timber churches grace the landscape of the Malopolska
(Lesser Poland) province around Krakow.
Four of them have been entered in the UNESCO
List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2003. Those four
are situated in the villages of Sekowa, Binarowa,
Lipnica Murowana and Debno Podhalanskie. The Wooden Architecture
Route links them with 233 other places in Malopolska that
boast ancient timber buildings - churches, manor houses,
cottages, granaries, etc.