After Warsaw, we then went on to visit Krakow in the south. There we went to the Historical center, the Christmas markets, Oscar Schindler’s enamel factory, and the Jewish districts that were once the infamous ghettos. We took a day trip to the Wielicksa salt mine and to Auschwitz Berkenau labor camps to learn about the WWII atrocities in person. The trip was truly unforgettable and made Poland one of our favorite countries to visit yet!
The Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Warsaw, Poland is the only surviving piece of what used to be the Saxon Palace. Among many structures the Germans blew up, Saxon Palace was destroyed in retaliation of the Warsaw uprising in effort to COMPLETELY demolish the city. Another structure worth noting in this square is a monument commemorating the victims of the 2010 tragic plane crash in which a large portion of the Polish Government died, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and more than 90 others. They were on their way to a memorial service to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre at Katyn Forest (that’s a whole other story) when the plane crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk.
Krakow has one of the best Christmas markets in all of Europe. This is in part because they happen to have the largest mid-eval main square in Europe, and because its popular with tourists. They remain open for months instead of just the typical weeks leading up to the holiday. And Krakow doesn’t skimp on the decorations either!