When you travel abroad, it is always useful to get basic information about the country you are going to. Same thing, when you are planning to relocate - general knowledge about the place happens to be useful as much as practical. Every urban center has its own specific, individual atmosphere resulting from such conditions as, inter alia, its location, size and history. What constitutes the uniqueness of Krakow is a combination of factors such as: centuries-old historical and cultural heritage, the fact of being one of the leading academic centres in the country and its dynamic, multi-faceted development.
Below you will find some basic information about the city. Detailed information about everyday life, transport and services can be found in an appropriate tab on the city's website in this portal. The city also has a well-maintained, available in many languages official website: Magiczny Kraków and Magiczny Kraków (English version) - you might get often redirected to these links.
Cracow (also Krakow)
• The official name of the city: Royal Capital City of Krakow
• The capital of Lesser Poland Voivodeship, a city with county rights (powiat krakowski grodzki) and a municipality
• The city covers a surface of 326.85 km 2
• The population is over 750 thousand people
- colours of Krakow: white and blue
- coat of arms: city gate topped with towers and an eagle on the posts
- more about its symbols can be found at:
Magiczny Kraków - Colours and symbols (English version)
• Areacode: (+48) 12
Royal Capital City of Krakow
Since about the twelfth century, Cracow was regarded as the capital city and the main center of regal power in Poland. Although at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the city had lost its importance and the center of political life had been moved to Warsaw, officially Cracow was never stripped of its title of the capital city. This tradition is reflected in the official name of the city.
From an administrative point of view, Cracow is the capital of Lesser Poland Voivodeship, is a city with county rights (powiat krakowski grodzki) and a municipality of an area of 326.85 km 2, with the number of inhabitants exceeding 750 thousand people.
There are several theories about the origin of the name of Cracow. The most popular of them is associated with the legend of King Krak, who had built his castle by the Vistula river. Other concepts say that the word 'krak' was once used to describe a bush or a raven, and from that allegedly arose the name of the settlement. All of these etymologies are but hypothesis - none of them can be considered as a confirmed fact.
Geography and climate
Cracow is located in the southern part of the country, approx. 75 km in a straight line from the border with Slovakia. Geographical coordinates - 50 ° 03'41 "N 19 ° 56'18" E. The city is situated on the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, at an altitude of approx. 219 meters above the see level.The main Polish river - the Vistulaflows through the city. In Cracow there are also tributaries of the river (Rudawa, Beluga, Dlubnia and Wilga) and several water bodies (i.e. Zakrzowek or Zalew Bagry ). The climate in Cracow is temperate. Due to ventilation obstructions resulting from the city's geographical location and numerous sources of air pollution, there is observable phenomenon of smog, which is particularly bad in winter.It reduces the transparency of the air in the city and has a negative impact on the health of Cracow's citizens. The city has taken steps to reduce smog.
Cracow has over 750,000 inhabitants. An important part of them are students, who arrived in Cracow to study at one of its numerous universities. Many young graduates decide to stay in Cracow, thanks to that, young people constitute an important part in the age structure of the city.
Currently in Cracow lives approx. 5000 foreigners, but according to projections this number will increase.
Cracow 's municipal government is the City Council (lawmaking and controlling territorial authority) and the Mayor (executive authority). The incumbent Mayor of the city of Krakow is prof. Jacek Majchrowski. The seat of the Municipal Magistrate since 1864 is the Wielkopolskich Palace at All Saints square 3-4, Cracow.
The city is divided into 18 district units.Each of them is assigned a number (written in Roman numerals) and a name. Below you will find a list of districts in Cracow and a link to a city map, including this division.
• District I – Stare Miasto (Old Town)
• District II - Grzegorzki
• District III - Pradnik Czerwony
• District IV - Pradnik Bialy
• District V - Krowodrza
• District VI - Bronowice
• District VII - Zwierzyniec
• District VIII - Debniki
• District IX - Lagiewniki - Borek Fałecki
• District X - Swoszowice
• District XI - Podgorze Duchackie
• District XII - Biezanow - Prokocim
• District XIII - Podgorze
• District XIV - Czyzyny
• District XV - Mistrzejowice
• District XVI - Bienczyce
• District XVII - Wzgorza Krzeslawickie
• District XVIII - Nowa Huta
Cracow, as one of the oldest cities in Poland has a very colourful history. Due to the fact that for centuries Cracow was the capital of Poland, the city witnessed many historical events of national and international importance.If you want to know more about the history of this city you should visit:
Magiczny Kraków - Historia Krakowa - (Polish version)
Magiczny Kraków - History of Krakow - (English version)
Below you will find a calendar, which includes the most important events of the history of the city. Souvenirs of these events are often reflected in urban space
or traditions of the city.
IX century – Wawel castle was built; later Cracow was included into Great Moravia
965 – 1st mention of Cracow in relation of Ibrahim ibn Jakub
1000 – the establishment of an episcopate in Cracow, decision to build the first Cathedral
since the XI century – Cracow is the capital of the country
1079 – bishop’s Stanislaus conflict with Boleslaw the Brave, ended with the death of the Bishop
1241 – 1st Tatar invasion of Cracow - the destruction of the city
1257 – the location of the city of Cracow on the Magdeburg Law
1320 – 1st royal coronation at Wawel Cathedral
1335 – the location of Kazimierz
1364 – the establishment of the Cracow Academy, meeting of European monarchs – a feast at Wierzynek
1366 – the location of Kleparz
1400 – the renewal of the University - Cracow Academy
1518 – the Renaissance transformation through the intercession of Bona Sforza
1609 – the loss of the city's status, “transfer of the capital” to Warsaw
The second half of the XVII century – the first half of the XVIII century – invasions of foreign troops, destruction of the city
1784 – the establishment of Podgorze
1796 – the incarnation of Cracow into the Austrian Empire after the third partition of Poland
1815 – the establishment of the Republic of Cracow (Free City of Cracow)
1846 – there-incarnation of Cracow into the Austrian Empire after the Cracow Uprising
1850 – the great fire of Cracow
1866 – the beginning of the period of Galician autonomy
1918 – Cracow recovers its independence - the first independent city on the Polish territory
1939-1945 – Cracow occupation by the Third Reich
1941-1943 – Cracow ghetto
1949 – the beginning of the construction of Nowa Huta
1978 – Cracow on the UNESCO World Heritage List
2000 – Cracow as European Capital of Culture
2013 – Cracow as the City of Literature by UNESCO
Cracow is the main city in the region also in economic terms. Economic stability and rich human resources contribute to the fact that the city is rated as attractive by both Polish and foreign investors. Cracow is a major center of outsourcing, financial, accounting and recruitment services.
Cracow has an extensive network of partner cities. Currently, the network consists of almost 40 foreign urban centers. This list of partners may be subject to extension. City co-operation is visible in many forms (twinning agreement, partnership, other forms of interaction). Detailed information on Cracow 's partnerships with twin cities can be found at the following websites:
Magiczny Kraków - Miasta partnerskie (Polish version)
Magiczny Kraków - Friend cities (English version)