Look Back at 2012

MonicaStoreBlog-2012-recap-MGoslin

A re-cap of what happened on The Monica Store Blog in 2012!

The blog covered four countries in 2012 with extensive travel tips and information from how to get to Bergamo, Italy to what to see and do in Krakow, Poland. See below for a review of what was covered in 2012 on the monicastoreblog!

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Bergamo, Italy – a three part travel series on what to see in Bergamo including a special insider tip on where to eat in this famous Italian city for the best gelato!

Plus for the new photographs of Bergamo, Italy that are available as prints click here for Monica Goslin Photography.

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Krakow, Poland – a seven part travel series on this fascinating Eastern European location with in-depth information on what to see from the main sites to the Jewish Quarter and more.

For travel photography of Krakow, Poland click here to see more of this amazing city at the Monica Goslin Photography website

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Florida Tampa Bay – This was an extensive six part series covered the new Dali Museum, what to see and do in Tampa, where to eat in Ybor City, why you should visit Tarpon Springs, and an insider view at Heritage Village.

See the colorful photographs of Florida by clicking here for prints and more available at Monica Goslin Photography

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The Lake District – This series covered both Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore.

The Lake Lugano series included not just what to see and do but also a special feature on the Old Fish Jazz Band which happened to be playing in Lugano.

The Lake Maggiore four part series covers areas all up and down the lake, including an insider travel tip on the best location to see the greatest view of Lake Maggiore (click to find out where!).

* For photographs of Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore that are available as canvas prints, framed photos and more… click here for The Monica Store.

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Bellinzona, Switzerland – this post covers a beautiful town with three castles that makes for a lovely day trip

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And finally 2012 included two surprise posts:

Trish’s Treats – I had the opportunity to take photographs for this new cookie company that makes the most delicious home-made and old-world cookies (click to find out more).

Sheep in Bryant Park – to read about why sheep were in Manhattan in 2012 click here.

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Click on the above links to read more and check back later in 2013 for new posts, new adventures, and more travel information to come!

Main Sights to See in Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland by Monica Goslin

What to see and do in Krakow, Poland

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 The main sights to see in Krakow are in the old historic part of town.

1 – Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny) – The main square in Krakow is the largest medieval square in Europe and dates back to the 13th century. The Cloth Hall, or Sukiennice, is the building in the center of the square where you will find market stalls mostly selling tourist souvenirs. Use the main square as a base for direction as all the streets going out from the square lead to more main attractions.

-Fun Fact – Every hour, on the hour you will hear a trumpet being played from the tallest tower of St. Mary’s Basilica in the Main Market Square. The trumpet song is abruptly stopped to honor a trumpeter shot and killed over 700 years ago by a Tatar arrow as he sounded the alarm before the Mongols’ attack on the city!

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2 – St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow – The basilica sits on one side of Main Market Square and looks like a perfect little red brick building. Originally built in the 13th century, St. Mary’s Basilica was re-built in the 14th century. You can enter the church for free, but the free entrance only gives you access to the back of the church, seeing the altar and choir from afar. I advise that you pay to enter St. Mary’s Basilica so you can see the famous carved wooden altar, and see all of the painted details of the ceiling and the walls, admire the choir, and so much more up close! The wooden altar in St. Mary’s Basilica is said to be the largest Gothic altar in the World! The altar took 12 years to make and was sculpted by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz).

The inside of St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow is truly astounding in detail; if you love architecture allow for a good amount of time to absorb all the details of St. Mary’s Basilica!

Side note – The churches and basilicas in Krakow are some of the most beautiful I have seen! With elaborate carvings, beautiful stained-glass windows, and detailed painting on the walls and ceilings.

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3 – The Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Krakow – The monument is in front of St. Mary’s Basilica on the main square. Adam Mickiewicz was a Polish poet in the 19th century; his statue is on top of the monument with four allegoric groups below representing Science, Courage, Poetry, and the Motherland. The inscription on the Adam Mickiewicz Monument reads “To Adam Mickiewicz, the Nation.” Ironically, Adam Mickiewicz had never been to Krakow and in fact his remains were brought from Paris and buried in the crypt of St. Leonard’s of the Wawel Cathedral.

4 – Church of St. Adalbert (or Church of St. Wojciech) in Krakow – This church, a discreet and small white building, sits on the main square. The Church of St. Adalbert is one of the oldest churches in Poland, built in the 11th century. On my visit to Krakow the church was under restoration but the side chapel was open – a minuscule room with a low ceiling and faded paintings. The crypt of the church is now part of the Archeological Museum and the church itself is still used today.

5 – Town Hall Tower in Krakow – The red brick tower next to the Cloth Hall is all that is left of the old Town Hall. The original town hall was built in the 13th century and underwent many reconstructions after fires and other damage. The old town hall once housed the city prison and the entire building took up more space in the main square. You can climb the town hall tower, for a small fee, where you will get a nice overall view of the historical city center of Krakow.

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The next post will be about visiting Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral.

** Interested in a photo on this travel blog about Krakow? You can purchase a photo of Krakow, Poland on The Monica Store by clicking here.

*** For more photographs about Krakow, Poland click here for stock images of Krakow which are also available as prints.

 

 

Fun Facts about Krakow, Poland

Main Market Square and St. Marys Basilica in Krakow, Poland by Monica Goslin

Visiting Krakow, Poland Travel Series – starting with a few fun facts

Krakow is an interesting city to visit and there is a lot to see and do. Krakow has an old-world charm to it and could be the next Prague, becoming a popular destination.

This and the next few posts will highlight what to see and do in Krakow. Overall I really enjoyed my visit there and hope to visit again as there is always more to see. I recommend the main sights and a few lesser known stops that are still in the historic city center. If you are interested in art and architecture (especially gothic architecture and art nouveau) you should visit as many of the churches in the city as you can as they are all extremely distinctive, plus Krakow is known as the “city of churches.”

So keep reading and find out more about Krakow, Poland!

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A few fun and interesting facts about Krakow, Poland:

–          Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland, dating back to the 7th century.

–          Krakow was the capital of Poland for over 500 years

–          The city of Krakow is an important academic and artistic center.

–          Krakow’s historical city center is a UNESCO world heritage site.

–          Pope John Paul II was the first Slavic pope ever, and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years! He became pope in 1978.

–          The University of Krakow is the second oldest university in central Europe, founded in 1364 by King Casimir II the Great. (Read more about the University of Krakow in a later post).

–          After World War II, with the creation of a giant steel mill, the city became an industrial center with a new working class and a jump in population growth.

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Next post will feature the main sights to see in Krakow, Poland – so stayed tuned!

** Interested in a photo on this travel blog about Krakow? You can purchase a photo of Krakow, Poland on The Monica Store by clicking here.

 *** For more photographs about Krakow, Poland click here for stock images of Krakow which are also available as prints.