Krakow - The Jewel in the Crown
Krakow, European City of Culture, with a population of nearly one million, is the most frequently visited city in Poland. It is situated in Southern Poland on the banks of the Vistula River. Krakow is an important centre of science and learning and is home to the renowned Jagiellonian University (est. 1364), which is one of the oldest universities in Europe. A further 24 academic schools provide education for nearly 170,000 students. The old city centre has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is very rich in historical buildings and sites, exceptional architecture, and a great number of world class fine art pieces.
Wrocław – Europe Cultural Capital in 2016
Wrocław, the historic capital of Silesia, is one of the biggest and oldest Polish cities. Vratislavia was first unambiguously mentioned as a mighty city around the year 1000. It was then that a Polish ecclesiastical settlement was created there. In the 14th century the city fell under the sway of the Czech king, John of Luxembourg and broke its ties with Poland. Later Vratislav, together with the rest of Poland fell under the sway of the Hungarian monarchy, and it is from those times that the Hungarian name of the city, Boroszló, dates. Together with the Czech crown, Wrocław was incorporated into the Habsburg monarchy and renamed Breslau. In the 18th century the entire Silesia was taken over by Prussia, and thus Wrocław was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia, and later the German Reich, where it remained until 1945. After World War II, Wrocław was returned to Poland. The city is full of monuments from this thousand year, turbulent history.