Pieskowa skala

Poland's medieval capital, Krakow, possesses a unique atmosphere. For centuries ,artists have flocked here, and today it has become one of Poland's most popular tourist destinations. From atop a hill, Wawel Basillica of Jasna Gora Castle keeps watch over the Old Town. The castle was built in the Renaissance style and its interiors contain the treasures of the Polish kings. The chapel where they were crowned is just one of the highlights of a tour which also includes the royal chambers. The cathedral sits beside the castle, the fmal resting place of all but two of the Polish kings. Beneath the hill is a cave, which, legend has it, was once inhabited by a dragon. The Old Market Square is alive with visitors from around the world. They mingle with Poles in the sidewalk cafes or eather at the Jama Michalikowa cafe, a meetingpoint of Krakow's artists inthe l9th century. The center piece of the square, the Sukiennice cloth hall,is still used by merchants today. St. Mary's Church, one of Krakow's many churches, stands across the square. From its tower, a solitary bugle call reminds visitors of the bugler who had his warning of an invasion cut short mid-note by a Tartar arrow. Inside stands the spectacular carved Wit Stwosz TIriptych Altar. Near the Old Town are the Barbican defense walls Market Square, Krakow and St. Florian's Gate, connecting the boutiques of Florianska Street with the newer part of the city. The countryside around Krakow provides visitors with many opportunities for fascinating day trips. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a curiosity seeker's paradise, with hundreds of sculptures made from salt, including a chapel complete chandeliers Skala, a beautiful Renaissar the edge of The Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, home to the miraculous is a center of pilgrimage for Catholics from all over the world. And the nearby Auschwit-Birkenau concentration camp is a solemn remindeI of the tragedies of the Holocaust.