Wawel Castle is perched high atop a hill overlooking the Vistula River. As the residence of kings and queens for five centuries, the castle is a great tourist attraction and a museum of art and history. The towers of the castle and the spires of the cathedral evoke the magic and mystery of medieval Krakow
The large Main Square is surrounded by historical townhouses, Palaces and churches. The centre of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall or Drapers' Hall, rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style. At the side of the Cloth Hall is the Town Hall Tower.
The salt mines in Wieliczka were part of the marriage settlement of the Hungarian princess Kinga. Amazing figures and monuments were sculptured out of its salt walls which earned the Mine a place on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1978. Our tour included a visit to the 600 year old Salt Mine. You descend 380 wooden steps to the first level 64m underground from there you you continue another two levels in tunnels and more steps until you are 135m underground. The distance covered is 5 km and takes 2 hours. At the end of the tour you ascend in a small miners lift carrying 6 to 8 people.Now that was an experience too. The tour visits many ancient chambers and chapels in which almost everything is made or carved from salt. Kingas Chapel is a huge 22,000 cubic metre space and is a popular wedding place we were advised.
AUSCHWITZ AND BIRKENAU VISITS. The visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau allows you to gain insights into the atrocities created under Hitler's regime and the millions who fell victim to the Holocaust. This was a very personal thought-provoking experience. The largest of all the Nazi concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz, was transformed into a museum by the Polish government a few years after it was liberated by Russian Troops in 1945.
BIRKENAU EXTERMINATION CAMP An estimated 6,000,000 Polish civilians died during the war, of which 2,900,000 were Jewish.
"Gypsies and people who were crippled especially were sent to be killed, but Slavonic peoples and Hungarians who disagreed with the fascist government were also sent to the chimneys. Many millions of Polish people died in the camps. Anyone who was not German could be used as hands to work until they could work no longer, and then to be burned.
The Palace of Culture and Science. A gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland in 1952.
The famous icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa also known as the Black Madonna. It has been associated with Poland for the past six hundred years.
The Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw consists of a palace and garden complex comprising magnificent gardens, canals and ponds within its 80 hectares. It was built during the second half of the eighteenth century.
The Chopin Statue is a large bronze statue of Frédéric Chopin in Warsaw's Royal Łazienki Park. At the statue's base, since 1959, on summer Sunday afternoons are performed free piano recitals of Chopin's compositions.