Krakow, Poland is an Important City to Visit

Photo by Laszlo Botond Kol on Unsplash

Krakow is an amazing city in southern Poland, very near to the Czech Republic. Though it’s known to many as a university town, there are so many activities to do for people of all ages.

Krakow, along with many other cities in Poland, has a tainted history from WWII, but still, the Jewish Quarter is highly preserved and now serves as one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. It’s also an incredibly affordable city, so you really can do it all!

The main square in Krakow is really a stunning area and a definite must-see, since it was built all the way back in the 13th century! It is actually one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe to this day and is a great place to take photographs.

Poland remains respectful toward its history during WWII and gives visitors a crucial lesson from the past. Visit Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, where Schindler employed more than 1,000 Jews during the time of the Holocaust, and without him, many more lives would have been lost.

If you have the emotional energy, just an hour away from Krakow are the extermination camps Auschwitz and Birkenau. Though it is a difficult tour, it feels really crucial to experience the place where such a large genocide occurred and to bear witness so it may never happen again.

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When we decided to travel Krakow, the key motivation for our trip was to witness the scene of the most horrible crimes in human history. Auschwitz concentration camp is the biggest tourist attraction in Poland. While people are claiming the reason for their visit is better understanding the Holocaust, I honestly just claim the most of it for morbid curiosity. We can't turn our eyes away from grotesque and macabre. I am no better. I fully admit going to the site with an excitement. But while inside it all changed. As a history student, I thought I was more or less immune to any emotions regarding the horrors of the past. In Auschwitz I found out I was wrong. This is no place for chills and thrills. Even though nothing was particularly new to me, just being there and seeing it all by the first hand was something no history book or document can fully capture. Auschwitz I was mainly a work camp. Now a museum, it consists the evidence of Nazi crimes for everyone to see. The electric fences, watchtowers and the sign are just the surface. Huge piles of shoes, suitcases and other belongings of the former inmates are found inside the buildings. Shooting area with bullet marks on the walls. Experimental cells to test various ways to kill a person with hunger, suffocating or keeping them standing for days. After this tour no one was smiling. #auschwitz #auschwitz1 #holocaust #shoah #krakow #polska #poland #ww2 #nazi #neveragain

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