Krakow, a city of “world heritage”

  Poland is located in the middle of Europe, and its special geographical location makes it an important bridge connecting the east and west of the European continent. Arriving in Warsaw, the capital of Poland by plane, a friend who settled in Warsaw many years ago warmly received me. When discussing the tour route, my friend said: “You must go to Krakow for a walk and have a look!” His unquestionable tone aroused my curiosity, and I immediately asked: “Why?” He replied with a slight smile: “Krakow is the oldest city in Poland. It traded goods with China through the Silk Road in the 15th century. The prosperity at that time was comparable to that of Chang’an in ancient my country. Although it has been baptized by wind and frost, it still maintains its former style. And once again integrated into the China-Poland trade.” After hearing what my friend said, I immediately became very interested in Krakow.
  Medieval Charm
   departed from Warsaw by train and arrived in Krakow in southern Poland about two and a half hours later. As soon as you get out of the station, a simple and elegant atmosphere rushes towards your face, and the buildings that catch your eyes are antique and fragrant, showing the beauty of art. Krakow was founded in the 7th century and was the capital of Poland during the Renaissance, when Poland was the most powerful country in eastern Europe. As a political, economic, cultural and scientific center of a country, Krakow has been built and developed on a large scale. The famous astronomer Copernicus once studied at Krakow University. Due to the developed textile industry and textile import and export trade, Krakow has won the reputation of “Textile City”. Due to the well-preserved ancient charm, Krakow was included in the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1978, and was listed as one of the 12 best art cities in the world.
   Strolling on the streets and stepping on the gravel road, a sense of long history emerges spontaneously. Looking around, the houses on both sides of the street, Gothic and Baroque, are arranged in a patchwork manner. The reliefs on the walls and the three-dimensional statues on the top of the house are exquisite and delicate, the characters are lifelike, and the scenery is vivid, showing a strong artistic atmosphere. A castle-style theater in the city is the most eye-catching among the many buildings. It was built in 1499 and is still in use today. This kind of castle building is rare in Europe, and it is even rarer to keep it so well. While walking, I found that iron chains of different lengths were fixed on the walls of some small streets. When walking in the narrow streets and alleys, the staggered body will constantly hit the iron chain, making a clanging sound, and the nearby people will come to help them after hearing it, so as to avoid accidents. I really didn’t expect that there are such humanistic public facilities in this ancient city.
  ”The largest medieval square in Europe”
   Krakow’s most charming and historic is the central square with the reputation of “the largest medieval square in Europe”. The center of the square is a large shopping mall, which was built in 1257. Because it was mainly a place for merchants to manage fabrics and negotiate import and export textile business, it was called the Textile Hall, and the central square was also called the Textile Square. The shopping mall is built in the center of the square, which is the first time I have seen it in many cities at home and abroad. The first floor of the shopping mall is full of stalls selling all kinds of Polish folk arts and crafts, mainly embroidery, amber, wood products, dishes and tableware, Polish dolls, etc. On the ground floor of the shopping mall is the National Museum, and on the second floor is a museum gallery with many art treasures, including classics by famous painters from Poland and around the world from the 18th to the 19th centuries.
   On the east side of the square, there is a brick-red St. Mary’s Cathedral, which is a landmark building in Krakow. Every hour on the hour, a small window at the top of the church bell tower will open, and a small golden trumpet will be stretched out to play a tune. At the end of the song, the player will lean forward and wave to the people in the square. At this time, the local people in the square will respond with applause and whistle, and pay attention to the church. It turns out that there is an unusual story behind this move: According to legend, in the 8th century, when an iron hoof approached Krakow, when someone in the church found that the enemy was invading, he blew a horn to inform the people in the city, and the enemy shot through it with an arrow. The sound of the trumpet stopped abruptly when it hit the player’s throat. And that moment was exactly the hour, and since then, in order to commemorate the player, the horn will sound on the church bell tower every hour.
   There are also statues of Polish patriotic poet Mickiewicz and ornamental sculptures of different sizes and styles on the square. Around the sculpture, some street performers showed their skills, some played classic music with accordion, trumpet, etc., some supported drawing boards to draw sketches for tourists or perform color spray painting performances, which was very lively. From time to time, tall horses pull classical passenger vehicles passing by on the square. The crisp sound of horseshoes and melodious music echo in the square, making this medieval square full of charming vitality.