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KRAKOW

Kraków is the chief city of Małopolskie Province in the south of Poland. At its core is a beautifully-preserved medieval town on the banks of the River Wisła or Vistula, and it's Poland's top tourist draw. The modern city, with a population of 780,000, stretches way beyond, including the communist-era "new town" of Nowa Huta.


In English the city was previously often spelled as "Cracow". But 21st century visitors have discovered it via budget airlines and travel booking sites that always call it "Krakow" so the older spelling isn't used here. 


Kraków is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with evidence showing settlements there since 20,000 BC. Legend has it that it was built on the cave of a dragon whom the mythical King Krak had slain. However, the first official mention of the name was in 966 by a Jewish merchant from Spain, who described it as an important centre of trade in Slavonic Europe.


- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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