A Swiss in Krakow – on the tracks of Tadeusz Kosciuszko

On foot along the Wisla

Today I find my way to Zwiercyniec by staying north of the Wawel and  then walking along the Wisla. My targets are the small hill built for Tadeusz Kosciuszko and some churches on the way.

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 On the way I come across more Lajkoniki – adorning a boat

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Mongolia keeps on greeting me here in Krakow.

The posh hotel Niebeleski

The hotel Nibeleski has a great view of the Wisla and the Wawel.

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Well, today the Wawel looks mysterious in the fog.

Steeply uphill through a residential area

After the first steps uphill I look back at the monastery of  Norbertanek.

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To the left is the charming small wooden chapel built for Malgorzata. My guidebook tells me that it has been rebuilt several times, because it had burnt down repeatedly. It originates from the 16th century and was built for those who died during the plague.

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To the right is the church of the Savior or Salwator behind a locked gate. Legend says that here was the first Christian church of Poland. The hill, the cemetary and the tram end station are called Salwator as well. Flowers are announcing the cemetary.

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It is late November on the alley leading to the fort of the Austrians and the Kopiec Kosciuszki.

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 Joggers are overtaking me.

The hill of Kosciuszko is in the middle of a fort built by the Austrians

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To climb the hill of Tadeusz Kosciuszko I have to pay eleven Zloty. The paved path leads almost flat around the hill – I feel dizzy, when I arrive on top. A panel reminds of Tadeusz. Around 1800 he courageously tried to free Poland that had been erased from the maps. I admire how much Poland fought for freedom, achieved it in 1919 and was the source of the dramatic changes in 1990.

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On this hill, there is a telescope. I assume, there must be a great view of Krakow, but I just viewed the mist and missed the view…

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Back to town and to the small Cafe Szafe

Back in Piasek I oscillate to find the cosy coffee place Szafe. I share a coffee and a piece of cake with the goat and the black cat above the red sofa.

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The university museum

Now I head to the Collegium Maius. Visits to the museum are only allowed in guided groups. I have to wait until shortly before three. A very eloquent young lady then takes us round. Kraków has one of the oldest universities in Europe, founded in 1360. This is 100 years earlier than the university of Basel. We see the hall where the directors of the university meet and

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the rooms where the professors lived (but, says the lady, they were monks and lived in much simpler conditions. In addition, the rooms had open windows and where damp and moldy).

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The auditorium is the place where doctors and professors are honoured. On the walls there are portraits of the professors in several centuries and of the only lady allowed in the collegium until the end of the 19th century, queen Jadwiga, the wife of king Yagiello.

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The university is proud that Kopernikus was here. They show the list of students with his name on it (and, yes, he has paid the fees). Also on display are his tools and the globe from 1521,  which already shows America on it.

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Rounding off the day with a borschtsch and a concert

I round off the day with a borschtsch and salmon in the Smak Ukrainski and with a concert in the St. Peter and Paul’s Church. This is my second concert… I was already in the St. Adalbert Church. I just wonder, how Kraków will warm up their churches, when the temperature will be far below zero. The concerts are well worth listening to, but after an hour I need a hot drink, even with November temperatures.

2 thoughts on “A Swiss in Krakow – on the tracks of Tadeusz Kosciuszko

  1. Iwona says:

    Hi Petra,
    I see, you’ve managed to find a really old globe. Nice!
    Greetings from Berlin,
    Iwona

  2. Helga and Andreas Schmidt says:

    Greetings from cool Basel, winter has arrived. Have a nice flight back home.
    Kind regards,
    Helga and Andreas

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