Krakov Krakau Poland Polen

Kraków: Divers History In Some Random Pictures

Jewish History

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Christian History

 

Socialist History

 

Architecture, Art, Interior (And Some Horses)

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Part of the Tour Group

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Hostel Luneta Krakow

Kraków Trip: Hostel Luneta Warszawska

During our trip to Kraków we stood in a sensational building, a fortress from the 19th century, the Hostel Luneta Warszawska. It is situated slightly outside the old city center (four stations by tram and about eight to Kazimierz) and has a wonderful terrace and a huge kitchen. Downers: The bathroom was always flooded and the bunkbeds squeaked like hell.

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Wieliczka Salt Mine Krakow

Wieliczka Saltmines near Kraków: A Subterranean Fairytale World

There is the very old Wieliczka Salt Mine near to Kraków which is open today for tourists.

Some interesting facts:

  • The salt mine exists since 1280.
  • It is UNESCO world heritage since 1978.
  • Based on an ancient myth it’s the merit of princess Kinga that the salt mine exists.
  • Its atmosphere is extremely healthy for the lungs.
  • During miners times they brought down working horses to the mines. But they where very frightened when going down so the miners left them there working their whole lives and they never saw the sun again.
  • With one ton of salt you were able to buy a village at the time
  • There have been salty sources already 6000 years ago. As they ran dry more and more, people started looking for the provenance of the salt.
  • Kraków’s rise is based on the existence of this mine.
  • During the 18th century more than 9000 people worked there.

 

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New Jewish Cemetery Krakow

Kraków: The Peaceful New Jewish Cemetery

While on the outside traffic is hurrying by, the silence on the huge area of the New Jewish cemetery is peaceful and unhasty. Birds are singing and while walking through the bigger and smaller paths between the tombstones I want to make myself as small  and quiet as possible as if I would be here only in my thoughts.

It’s because of that that I like to visit cemeteries, and I have seen many, above all in Sicily, France and Germany but never before I have been to a jewish cemetery.  I think of the many people during many different times buried here and some of the tombstone inscriptions tell stories of the lives they led before finding peace here. The German word for cemetery is Friedhof, which means yard of peace which I think is a very adequate denomination.

During WW2 the Nazi commandant Amon Göth – well known as the sadistic leader from Schindler’s List – took gravestones from this cemetery as pavement for the supply road for Płaszów concentration camp. After the war a lot of them have been recovered and brought back to the cemetery.

The area is very big – 4,5 hectares – and sometimes I start to follow a path which ends in a cul-de-sac and I have to return.

The special thing on this cemetery – maybe on all jewish cemeteries, I don’t know – is that the area is more of a wild landscape than an arranged yard. At least half of the area is completely overgrown and it seams like nature takes back what belongs to her. Wilderness of peace would be the adequate word.

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Kulturinsel Einsiedel

A Crazy Forest And A Short Visit To Polonia

Kulturinsel Einsiedel and its strange creatures:

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Bielawa Dolna:

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Görlitz / Zgorzelec:

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Fürst Pückler Park: The Legacy Of A Crazy Nobleman

Location: Fürst Pückler Park, Bad Muskau, Leknicka (Poland) / Weather: April in August, sunny & rainy / Distance: 10 km / Animals spotted: some deer jumping out of the woods / Special feature: First time during a hike that I crossed a countries border and first time that I have been to Poland.

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The tour group:

 

The park:

 

 

 

 

Crossing the Neiße (I’m denying myself any further comment) ;-):

 

The castle of poor and miserable Prince Pückler:

 

And a short look behind the Polish border: