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Cracow is one of the oldest cities in Poland, situated on the bank of Vistula River, on waterlogged ground with lot of limestone rocks. Certain facts and dates from the city's history can only be given from The Middle Ages. The legendary founder of Cracow was mythical ruler Krak, who built  royal castle on Wawel Hill and named the city. Unfortunately inhabitants were unhappy because of the devil dragon - it laired in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill and moreover he kidnapped animals or even people! Dragon especially enjoyed eating young maidens, and could only be appeased if he found a young girl in front of his cave once a month. Anybody could defeat him, the bravest knights fell to his fiery breath. But one day a poor cobbler named Dratewka  stuffed a lamb with sulphur and set it outside the dragon's cave. The dragon ate it and soon became incredibly thirsty. He turned to the Vistula River and drank and drank. But no amount of water could help him and finally he exploded.  Nowadays   we can find a metal sculpture of the Wawel Dragon designed by Bronisław Chromy which is placed in front of the dragon's den and reminds this folk tale.

Cracow is included to the European Capital of Culture. It is a major attraction for both local and international tourists, attracting seven million visitors a year. It is the seat of many theatres, museums and libraries. Every year Cracow is host to cultural and artistic events like the International Jewish Culture Festival, the International Short Film Festival or Summer Jazz Festival at Piwnica pod Baranami lasting one month. Cracow is also centre of polish jazz and an important place on the european jazz’s map. There are lots of concerts and once a year there is organized Krakow's Night of Jazz.

Historic monuments
To the most important and famous monuments in Cracow belong: Main Square with Mariacki Church, Cloth Hall and Town Hall Tower; City Walls with St Florian’s Gate and Barbican, and also Wawel Hill with Royal Castle. Main Square is one of the largest squares in Europe. It is still the scene of major ceremonies, grand processions as well as the city's everyday life. Its vast space easily contains dozens of restaurants and cafés, like Wierzynek, Piwnica pod Baranami, klub Pod Jaszczurami. We can see flocks of pigeons, street artists, a flower market, but Main Square  is never uncomfortably crowded.
The Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle were included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978.

 



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