Old Town Kraków 

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Any ideas what this object is?

It’s a dragon’s bone!  There’s a fascinating story about the dragon, the founding and naming ofKraków, and of course a sweet  love story. You can read it here because it’s just too long for me to paraphrase!http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/classroom/legends/WD1.pdf

But as long as this dragon’s bone remains , Kraków will exist!  

The old town of Kraków is charming, walkable, friendly. 


Over and over again we were reminded of the origin of Karol Woktyla, one of the most illustrious and important men in Polish history, better known as Pope John Paul II.  His ties to Kraków  include his early education, his priesthood, and his archbishop assignment.  


He with Lech Walesa were instrumental in ending the communist occupation of Poland in 1989. He was the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years.  The Polish people adore him.  

Our photo framer Alexa backin PA told us,   “. You simply MUST go in the church on the main square.  Look left and it will be there.”  


St. Mary’s is an iconic symbol of the town and the interior is breathtaking.  I’ll admit to taking no photos (you had to buy a special sticker to take photos) but finding these online.


Really, it’s spectacular, especially the altarpiece which is opened daily.


 One of the city’s most enduring traditions is the trumpeter who plays a partial tune on the hour, every hour, to the four directions of the town. His tune breaks off mid-melody in honour of the mythical trumpeter who was shot in the neck while belatedly warning the city of Mongol invaders.
The cloth hall houses Polish made goods–Amber jewelry, furs, embroidery, crystal–sort of a Polish flea market with stands selling similar goods but all genuinely made in Poland .

  

In 90 degree heat one must drink , and eat.  We did.

Marge and Marty posed for a red, white, and blue photo.


Mike and Linda posed for another in the series of pics I’ve posted on our HS Facebook page.  (we’ve k own each other since third grade.)


Amidst the fun and frolic, the five of us each began to talk and acknowledge our growing amazement and admiration for Poland and the Polish people.  Kraków itself was basically spared during WWII because the Nazi Germans used the town to billet soldiers.  We began to learn the long and tortured history of this totally disregarded and dismissed country, even to the present day.  This is a country and its people that’s been chopped up, invaded, burned, exterminated not just once, but many times —-and they pick themselves right back up and move ahead.  

We were to learn oh so much more in the days to come.

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