Wawel had always been home to Polish kings during and after their lives. The castle was the place from where they reigned over the country, fighting wars in the farthest corners of Europe and indulging themselves in omnipresent luxury of its vast chambers. The spirit of history seems to be retained within the walls even today, as we walk in the catacombs between kingly tombs. The castle seated on the rock itself looks majestically over the Vistula like a proud monarch on the throne.
Down the river, one of the kings founded his namesake town. Kazimierz was situated on an island in Vistula – at the point of convergence between Judaic and Christian culture. Nowadays, it is a well-known district of Cracow full of small charming cafes and restaurants serving local as well as round-the-world food. One of its many streets every year becomes the venue of the Jewish Culture Festival „Shalom in Szeroka”, where people can feel in a different world listening and dancing to the lively klezmer tune.
There were times in history when spices were more valuable than any precious metals. The Wieliczka Salt Mine can help us fully grasp it. This mineral seasoning has been dug here from over 300 metres deep since the Dark Ages. Getting through the kilometres of mazing corridors we can better understand what it all takes before we can put salt on the table. Indeed amazing is the place with its salt crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and the prospect of sending a post card from here to your friends up there!
The beauty of the Castle in Pszczyna surely is eye-catching. Among its verdure-floral surroundings immersed in the summer sun it does look like a wonderful flower. Yet it is perhaps the extraordinary beauty of the palace recent inhabitant – Princess Daisy that has let the flower bloom in its full glory. We can judge this by ourselves taking tour through the castle’s many rooms looking also into the Daisy’s apartments which feature a whole collection of her pictures and photos.
Not so much time ago Niedzica Castle could seem like cut out from the Dracula films, perched on a hill surrounded by the forest. Newly, despite some changes made to the landscape it has not lost anything of its mysterious character. The legend about the golden quipu hidden under a doorstep in the castle is still alive. Though be remembered that the key to the treasure can only be found at night, so you will have to face your fear of ghosts as the castle is haunted by White Lady!
Łańcut Castle is a special place. With its annually held concerts of classical music played by the distinguished soloists from all over the world and the Baroque architecture it looks grandiose, and the fame of its marvellous interiors has been known across Europe since the seventeenth century. There is yet another reason which makes the palace special. Among other ghosts that can be seen the most demonic is the Devil of Łańcut, who for his ferocious wrongdoing is bound to the place forever.
The town of Zakopane is gently embedded in the marvellous landscape of the Tatra Mountains. Its main street „Krupówki” is at the same time the town’s city centre, full of restaurants, shops, and little stalls selling handicraft and the local souvenirs – all at your fingertips. However, if you feel like having a stroll somewhere a bit more off the beaten track, then „Morskie Oko” – a beautifully located mountain lake should be the right direction for you.
Visiting Wisła you have another great opportunity to broaden your knowledge about the Polish mountains. This town in Beskidy, apart from being one of the renown cure resorts with many exquisite parks you can take a walk in and promenades with aromatic cafes alongside, is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of the world-known ski jumper Adam Małysz. Simply, you’ve got a unique chance to explore every nook and cranny of the Champion’s hometown, including the hill that pushed him so high that he has landed only recently.
There was once a princess locked high in a tower to die of hunger for her disobedience. Sadly, her fate was soon sealed as the only rescue she could have hoped for had gone with the death of the man she loved. However desperate the situation was, far beneath the tower there appeared a little dog which kept bringing her food so that she could survive. Yet it was in vain for the little thing couldn’t reach so high. Some say it was the rock where the dog sat and hence the name „Pieskowa Skała”. Check for yourself here in Ojców.