Monday, June 07, 2010

Just a Word About Cracow

Now that I'm here, I can spoil the fun: Cracow is what I suspect maybe Prague was 20 years ago. Lots of well-preserved medieval architecture, pleasant walking spaces, plenty of beer and ice cream (90 cents a scoop) but not nearly as many tourists as the hordes on the Charles Bridge. Quaint at the center; big, public square although it lacks definition--they could use a Bernini. But this is no hole in the wall: the book says 800,000 people and they have traffic jams. There seems to be a bit of music around, but our timing was off.

Why did this jewel survive World War II, while Warsaw was reduced to rubble? I haven't really researched but my impression is that (a) the Nazis wanted to preserve it as a headquarters; and (b) at the end, they decided they needed the army worse elsewhere.

Also, lots of hilly/mountainous woodland in the outer environs. They say that westerners come over here for the hunting, but I have to wonder: if, say, a Dane comes over here and brings down, say, a woolly mammoth, how does he get it back to Copenhagen? Maybe he says it is the heart of his dear brother.


Anonymous said...

Um... Cracow didn't survive WWII. It was destroyed. What you see now is a restoration, à la Carcassonne in SW France.

Buce said...

Hey, Anon--most interesting and instructive. Can you cite some sources? I claim absolutely no independent knowledge of the topic but the sources I've seen appear to point the other way. Wiki Media has some interesting pictures: [commons_wikimedia_org]

Coincidentally, it appears there is a new exhibiton on the Nazi occupation of K; seems to have opened just after I left: [jta_org]