Of culture and spirits – a very special walk through Krakow

Krakow is one of the most often visited Polish cities. While it may derive from a large variety of reasons, and some of them might be niche, it is a fact, that old capital of Poland is an important place on the map. Both in terms of sightseeing and rich nightlife. It is also a second largest city in the country, luring people with its beauty and perspectives.

With all that being said I want to show other perspective on Krakow, one that combines the rich cultural blend that was created during almost hundreds of years of its history. History that can be observed nowadays. Therefore if you are to visit Krakow or you asking why should you visit this city, maybe that’s an article just for you.

Far away from the rich nightlife of main square, you can find many different districts of Krakow. Most often those derive from nearby villages, with their small markets, old mansions and bridges. Even further away we can find a place so famous to citizens as Royal Castle is. “Skałka” translates roughly into a “small rock” and is a hill full of legends and histories, as it was a place used from a centuries. It is a place that saw the death of priest killed personally by a king with whom he was conflicted. While nowadays church itself resembles a small castle, we know about two that were there before. Therefore, it is the first place of an extraordinary walk I recommend taking. It is a trip that will make you consider many things, or spirits. The architectural spirit of the place, as you can observe the stages of this place adapting to the changes that stroke Krakow, like almost no other spiritual place in the country. The historical spirit of truth and worship is also present. Mentioned death is remembered there until today. You can see the stump, upon which the said bishop was killed. You can read all the versions of that history and considered some of them fairytales, some accurate relations. Truth is, no one is really sure until today and neither will you.

There are other mysteries worth solving, lying right in the middle of the city. The old catacombs, which are the part of order of friars minors’ little church are closed the whole year, except for the day that we celebrate departed. In this cave people of many great houses are buried. It was calculated that there are almost thousand people lying there of which only about fifty are to be seen. In the coffins made half of glass we can see that they are almost perfectly conserved without almost any mummification techniques, typical for the cultures such as Egyptian. It is somewhat a creepy and scary view, but it is definitely interesting. Nowadays, scientists are slowly approaching this subject, acting carefully, so they won’t destroy the effect.

The Royal Castle has also a secret worth addressing. It is believed that in the very heart of Wawel, there is a chakra, a place that is believed to emanate spiritual energy. Although it is most likely an urban legend many tourist don’t know about it nowadays, especially without a guide during their visit. While castle is visited by hundreds of people during warmer months it is possible to be there also outside of season. People are visiting the place for the mass in cathedral during long November evenings, when delicate mist is present everywhere in the city. Maybe it worth your while to be there and touch the walls of castle right then?

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