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Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Green Forest And The Defence Walls

Dear friends,

Yesterday I was telling you a bit more about the Main Market Square so today I shall keep you on Krakow ground and tell you about a lovely spot, next to the Old Center, called Jan Matejko Square. You may say I am missing Krakow and that is why I am posting all Krakow posts while in Romania but to tell you the truth, I had these posts ready before my leave on the 14th this month, so I could enjoy the time home :) So there we are: me home eating Granny goodies and enjoying Easter + doing a bit of bureaucracy for the wedding & you lads and lasses looking at these lovely fisheye pictures of Krakow, taken in early April - fear not! I shall come back with pictures from Romania as well ;)
Jan Matejko Square - the square is located in Krakow, between the streets Basztowa and Warsaw, in the area named Kleparz, north of the Old Town. The area of today's Matejko Square in the past constituted the eastern part of the market kleparskiego, resulting probably in the fourteenth century, there has been a breakdown of the market in the nineteenth century through today's elevation to the west of the square of the ASP building and the building of the Directorate of Railways (on the site of the kleparskiego town hall ) . The whole area also served as foreground to the Barbakan.
Kleparz was attached to Krakow in 1791 . At today's Matejko Square were created , among others, monumental buildings of the Directorate of Railways , Polish Bank and the Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1910 , the 500th anniversary of the victorious Battle of Grunwald, the Grunwald monument was erected , designed by Antoni Wiwulski . The creation of the monument was financed by Ignacy Paderewski. The monument was destroyed by the Nazis , in 1976, the monument was reconstructed . Before the monument is a marble slab Tomb of the Unknown Soldier .
The Battle of Grunwald or First Battle of Tannenberg or Battle of Žalgiris was fought on 15 July 1410, during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Władysław Jagiełło (Jogaila) and Grand Duke Vytautas (Witold; Vitaŭt), decisively defeated the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. Most of the Teutonic Knights' leadership were killed or taken prisoner. While defeated, the Teutonic Knights withstood the siege on their fortress in Marienburg (Malbork) and suffered only minimal territorial losses at the Peace of Thorn (1411) (Toruń).
Territorial disputes continued until the Peace of Melno was concluded in 1422. However, the Knights never recovered their former power and the financial burden of war reparations caused internal conflicts and an economic downturn in their lands. The battle shifted the balance of power in Eastern Europe and marked the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian union as the dominant political and military force in the region.
The Kraków Barbican (Polish: barbakan krakowski) is a barbican – a fortified outpost once connected to the city walls. It is a historic gateway leading into the Old Town of Kraków, Poland. The barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the royal city of Kraków in the south of Poland. It currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for a variety of exhibitions.
The Gothic-style barbican, built around 1498, is one of only three such fortified outposts still surviving in Europe, and the best preserved. It is a moated cylindrical brick structure with an inner courtyard 24.4 meters in diameter, and seven turrets. Its 3-meter-thick walls hold 130 embrasures. The barbican was originally linked to the city walls by a covered passageway that led through St. Florian's Gate and served as a checkpoint for all who entered the city. On its eastern wall, a tablet commemorates the feat of a Kraków burgher, Marcin Oracewicz, who, during the Bar Confederation, defended the town against the Russians and shot their Colonel Panin. Masterpiece of medieval military engineering, with its circular fortress, was added to the city's fortifications along the coronation route in the late 15th century.
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These places are totally worth some time. You can even get inside the Barbakan and into the towers and in the same ticket you can also visit the St. Florian's Gate. The ticket is valid for 48 hours if my memory serves me right and the price is about 15 zloty for both :) In the summertime there are even medieval festivals inside the Barbakan walls and there is a procession down the Royal Route, from the Barbakan to Florianska street to the wonderful Wawel Castle :) It should totally be on your list if ever you will visit Krakow ;)

P.S. Grunwald means green forest ;)

Yours truly,
A LadyBug In Love With Krakow