tours to poland
Some facts about Cracow
Kraków (Polish pronunciation: ?krakuf About this sound listen (help?info)), also Cracow or Krakow (US English /?kr??ka?/, UK English /?kr?ka?/),23 is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century.4 Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic hubs. It was the capital of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish?Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596;5 the Free City of Kraków from 1815 to 1846; the Grand Duchy of Cracow from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1998. It has been the capital of Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999.
The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Slavonic Europe in 965.4 With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of approximately 760,000, with approximately 8 million additional people living within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of its main square.6
Cracow - popular atraction
According to statistics, in 2012 Kraków was visited by 7.3 million tourists including 2.1 million foreign travelers (over 30% of their grand total).175176 The visitors spent over 2.5 billion złoty in the city (without travel costs and pre-booked accommodations). Most foreign tourists came from Great Britain (over 25%), with German, French, Spanish, Italian and American visitors closely following. The Kraków tour-guide from the Lesser Poland Visitors Bureau indicated that not all statistics are recorded due to considerable number of those who come, staying in readily available private rooms paid by cash, especially from Eastern Europe.175
The main reasons for visiting the city are: its historical monuments, recreation as well as relatives and friends (placing third in the ranking), religion and business. There are 120 quality hotels in Kraków (usually about half full) offering 15,485 overnight accommodations.177 The average stay last for about 4 to 7 nights. The survey conducted among the travelers showed that they enjoyed the city's friendliness most, with 90% of Polish tourists and 87% foreigners stating that they would personally recommend visiting it.175 Notable points of interest outside the city include the Wieliczka salt mine, the Tatra Mountains 100 km (62 mi) to the south, the historic city of Częstochowa (north-west), the well-preserved former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, and Ojcowski National Park,178 which includes the Renaissance Castle at Pieskowa Skała.179 Kraków has been awarded a number of top international rankings such as the 1st place in the Top city-break destinations 2014 survey conducted by the British Which?.180
History of polish cuisine - middle ages
Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating in or widely popular in Poland. Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland's history. Polish cuisine shares many similarities with other Slavic countries, especially Czech, Slovak, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian cuisines.1 It has also been widely influenced by other Central European cuisines, namely German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisines 2 as well as Jewish,3 French, Turkish and Italian culinary traditions.4 It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef (depending on the region), winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and herbs.5 It is also characteristic in its use of various kinds of noodles the most notable of which are kluski as well as cereals such as kasha (from the Polish word kasza).6 Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty and uses a lot of cream and eggs. The traditional dishes are often demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals, especially Christmas eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.
The Polish national dishes are bigos ?bi??s; pierogi p???r???i; kiełbasa; kotlet schabowy ?k?tl?t sxa?b?v? (type of breaded cutlet); gołąbki ???w??pk?i (type of cabbage roll); zrazy ?zraz? (type of roulade); roast (Polish: pieczeń) ?p??t????; sour cucumber soup (Polish: zupa ogórkowa) Polish pronunciation: ?zupa ??ur?k?va; mushroom soup, (Polish: zupa grzybowa) ?zupa ????b?va (quite different from the North American cream of mushroom); tomato soup (Polish: zupa pomidorowa) ?zupa p?mid??r?va;7 rosół ?r?suw (variety of meat broth); żurek ??ur?k (sour rye soup); flaki ?flak?i (variety of tripe soup); and barszcz bar?t?? among others.8
The main meal might be eaten about 2 p.m. or later. It is larger than the North American lunch. It might be composed of three courses especially among the traditionalists, starting with a soup like a popular rosół and tomato soup or more festive barszcz (beet borscht) or żurek (sour rye meal mash), followed perhaps in a restaurant by an appetizer such as herring (prepared in either cream, oil, or in aspic); or other cured meats and vegetable salads. The main course usually includes a serving of meat, such as roast or kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet), or chicken. Vegetables, currently replaced by leafy green salads, were not very long ago most commonly served as surówka su?rufka ? shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar (carrot, celeriac, seared beetroot) or sauerkraut (Polish: kapusta kiszona) ka?pusta k?i???na. The side dishes are usually boiled potatoes, rice or more traditionally kasza (cereals). Meals often conclude with a dessert such as makowiec, a poppy seed pastry, or drożdżówka dr???d??ufka, a type of yeast cake. Other Polish specialities include chłodnik ?xw?d?ik (a chilled beet or fruit soup for hot days), golonka (pork knuckles cooked with vegetables), kołduny (meat dumplings), zrazy (stuffed slices of beef), salceson and flaki (tripe).