Home to attractive medieval cities and fascinating history, Poland is a top destination for culture vultures. Here you can delve into the events of World War II and discover the stories of 14th century kings and their exploits. There’s traces of history everywhere you look, especially in the popular cities of Krakow and Warsaw where old and new collide as contemporary cafes and restaurants spring up next to towering castles, Gothic churches and Soviet-era housing blocks. What better way to explore this fusion of medieval and modern than with inspiring images collected from social media channel Instagram? We’ve rounded up a selection that perfectly showcases this energetic nation and its beautiful sights.
Dating back to the 13th century, Krakow’s main square is steeped in history and ancient legends. Story has it that the city was founded on the defeat of a dragon and it has grown from a simple market square to one of Europe’s largest medieval squares that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. The magical atmosphere of the old town is beautifully captured by @liseykina as the sunlight illuminates the marble columns of Krakow’s grand architecture.
For more than 600 years, trumpeters have played the Krakow anthem on a bugle from the Mariacki Tower. It’s the highest tower of Saint Mary’s Church and the playing commences on the hour every hour with the noon performance broadcast to the rest of the country via radio and television. The view from the tower is captured by @_ilyz and shows the colourful roofs of Krakow that help give the city its charming character.
The Wawel Castle in Krakow served as Poland’s cultural and political heart during the 16th century and is today one of the city’s must-see sights. Originally constructed in the 14th century, the castle was the royal residence for numerous kings and is now an art museum that features changing exhibitions and permanent collections of Renaissance furniture and oriental classical pieces. The castle is beautifully captured in the waning light of dusk by @szulakiewiczart.
What could be a better visually representation of the old and the new? At Grzybowski Square in Warsaw stands the 19th century All Saints Church beside a pair of gleaming glass skyscrapers. The attractive square connects Poland’s past and present with an eclectic array of architecture and monuments commemorating heroic acts during WWII. In this image @fall_in_love_with_warsaw has captured the buildings and their reflection in an autumn puddle.
If you’re a fan of opulence then the grand interior rooms of Warsaw’s Royal Castle are a great place to start. Housed within a massive brick edifice are assembly halls, royal apartments and a gallery that features a number of Rembrandt paintings. The dazzling Great Assembly Hall with its golden columns, gilded stucco and ornate chandeliers has been captured by @drmeis and gives you an idea of the luxury Poland’s royalty would have once enjoyed.
If you want to explore the cities of Warsaw and Krakow, have a look at our range of tours to Poland.