History of Krakow
Krakow (official name - Capitalthe royal city of Krakow) - one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. The city is located on the left bank of the Vistula River and is the administrative center of the province of Malopolska.
The story begins with a contemporary Krakowa small settlement, which existed at the famous Wawel Hill, as historians have suggested in the 6-7 th centuries. The founder of the city is revered by Polish Prince Krakus, who according to local legend won dwelt in a cave at the foot of Wawel and terrorized the inhabitants of the evil dragon neighborhoods (although versions of who killed the dragon in Polish folklore several Krakus and only one of them).
The first written mention of Krakow dated965 year. In this period the city was already one of the leading shopping centers in the region and was in the power of the Duke of Bohemia Boleslaw I. About the same about 990 years Krakow came under the control of the Polish Prince Mieszko I (the founder of the Kingdom of Poland from the Piast dynasty). In 1000 the city received the status of a bishopric, and in 1038 became the capital of Poland and the main seat of Polish kings.
In 1241 during the Mongol invasionthe city was almost completely destroyed. By 1257 Krakow was restored and endowed with the Magdeburg law, thereby obtaining a number of significant rights and privileges, and, as a result, new opportunities and prospects. In 1259 Krakow again survived the attack of the Mongols, the result of which was ruined, but quickly recovered. The third attack of the Mongols in 1287 (by this time the city was already well fortified) was successfully repulsed.
The growth and prosperity of the city in the 14th century in many wayscontributed to the Polish king Casimir III the Great. In 1364 the Cracow Academy was founded by Casimir III the decree (now Jagiellonian University - one of the oldest in Europe). In 1370 Krakow became a member of the Hanseatic League, which is certainly the most favorable impact on the development of crafts and trade.
After signing in 1385 between the PolishKingdom and Grand Duchy of Lithuania so-called Krevsk Union, marked the beginning of a long and fruitful Polish-Lithuanian Union (from 1569 - Rzeczpospolita) and the Jagiellonian dynasty, Krakow continues to develop and grow. By the end of the 15th century Krakow, being prosperous capital of one of the largest and most influential powers of Europe, it is also an important center of science and art. During the reign of Jagiellonian dynasty (1385-1572) in Krakow's history came as a "golden age". By the end of the 16th century Krakow value is gradually reduced, and in 1596 the city is actually inferior to the status of the capital and royal residence Warsaw, but it remains a place of coronation and burial of monarchs.
It is turbulent at the background of the general instability,wars and plague outbreaks have stood out for Krakow and 17-18 century. After the third partition in 1795 Rzeczpospolita Krakow came under the control of Austria, and in 1809 was conquered by Napoleon, becoming part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815, by decision of the Congress of Vienna to Krakow it was declared a "free city", but in 1846 returned under the control of Austria as the administrative center of the Grand Duchy of Krakow. The Austrian government was quite loyal, and soon actively developing Krakow became the center of the revival of the Polish culture. By the end of the 19th - early 20th century, the city was equipped with water and electrified systems. In 1910-1915 gg. Krakow and its surrounding suburbs merged into a single administrative unit - Great Krakow. At the end of the First World War as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) Krakow again became part of Poland.
September 1, 1939 with the attack on PolandWorld War II began and already on September 6th German troops entered Cracow. City only managed to release in January 1945. Despite more than a five-year occupation of Krakow, in contrast to Warsaw was not practically destroyed, preserved to this day many beautiful architectural monuments.
Today, Krakow is a major economic, scientific andcultural center and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Krakow's Historic Centre is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.