03 August 2011

Krakow, Poland: Safe Travels, Janine!

On our last day in Poland, we explored Wawel Hill and castle.  The shot above is of the wall and tower on the south end of the complex.  Because this was a general's seat in both World Wars, the hill, castle, and cathedral escaped virtually unscathed, making it an excellent example of medieval architecture (built in the 14th century) and the place with the oldest original buildings in Poland.

The cathedral on Wawel Hill is known as the Royal Cathedral, and many ancient Polish kings, generals, and bishops are buried in its crypts, as well as the president and his wife who were killed in an airplane crash a couple of years ago.  We took a tour of the cathedral with a knowledgeable young Polish guy who explained all the tombs, history, and chapels, which turned out to be an excellent idea because--if you couldn't guess from the picture above--the cathedral didn't really have a unifying theme, and was basically continually added on to for a couple of centuries...it would've been very confusing on our own!

After Wawel Hill, we explored St. Mary's Cathedral, which is on the main square and whose towers can be seen in the center of the picture above.  This church had a LOT going on, but the center, a beautiful 15th century wooden triptych, was spectacular.  This cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Krakow, so it was the cathedral at which PJPII was Archbishop before becoming pope, so that added a special dimension to my visit.  After a late lunch on the square, it was time for a nap and a wander around the Jewish Quarter...and thus ends my time in Poland, and Janine's time in Europe.  A big thank you to her for an amazing month of new experiences!


grandma feldt said...

Sorry, missed a couple days blogs, we were with jaylin & anna, had a good time. 8-1st experience you witnessed brought tears to my eyes. Love ya

linda feldt said...

more beautiful castles and cathedrals. Janine got off okay??? Let me know when you meet up with Katherine. Miss you. Love & prayers mom