Nested on the banks of the broad Vistula River, the second largest city of Poland was the most brilliant of its capitals. From its perched castle, the Kings of the country, pushing the Tatars, ruled over an immense territory extending up to the Black Sea. From this apogee the city has kept a rare architectural wealth, sublimated by a real joie de vivre.
Night falls on the Rynek, the broad central square of Krakow and ravens invade the sky with their raucous cries, swooping down on the old town’s spires and towers. Since the dawn of time, the city is associated with this bird that other people see as a carrier of bad luck. Revered by the local Slavic tribes, then emblem of the Polish kings, Kruk the raven is likely to have given name to the city.
They fly over the uneven towers of the Gothic St. Mary Basilica by hundreds – the highest tower of which culminates at 80 meters. From its peak, a watchman is blowing its bugle every hour of the day and night, to suddenly stop. It thus commemorates, 776 years later, the death of his predecessor, rendered mute by a Tatar arrow. In the 13th century, invaders from the East passed there 91 times!
>> full article [30° degrees magazine]
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