Judix2 travels to USOpen, Estonia & Poland travel blog

Courtyard of Collegium Maius

St. Mary's Church

Alter at St Mary's

Church of St Adalbert

Concert at St Adalbert's

The Globe

Got up a little later than normal as it rained during the night and more rain predicted for today so both of us were a little lazy. Decided to stay close to the apartment and do museums. Had read about 'Collegium Maius' which was built as part of the Krakow Academy (now Jagiellonian University) that has a magnificent arcaded courtyard and a fascinating university collection which is by guided tour only. Arrived in the courtyard just in time to see and hear the 14th century replica clock chime and its cast of characters go through their paces. We did the guided tour seeing rare 16th century astronomic instruments used by Copernicus as well as some of his manuscripts; portraits of kings, benefactors and rectors of the university; etc. The highlight of the museum is the oldest existing globe (c 1510) depicting America (both North and South) - although the size and location are a little askew! As churches are a big thing in Krakow one must check several out! They all seem to have lots of gold and some very unique features. St. Mary's Basilica on the Main Square is a beautiful brick church with two towers, although the tallest is actually a municipal watch tower attached to the church. A bugler plays the hourly 'bejnal' song - supposedly during the first Tatar invasion a watchman in the tower saw the enemy approaching and sounded the alarm; however before he could finish the tune, an arrow pierced his throats and the tune was not finished. Even today the buglers (firemen working 24 hour shifts) stop the tune before completion! St. Mary's has a very impressive medieval woodcarving altarpiece carved in 12 years (completed in 1489) by German Veit Stoss. Earlier in the day we had purchased tickets for a concert at Church of St Adalbert, the oldest church in Krakow (10th century) that holds approximately 60 close friends! The Royal Chamber Orchestra (four of the Orchestra) played their abbreviated version of 15 songs from J. Pachelbel's Canon in D Major to George Gershwin's Summertime. All 15 songs were played in one hour; however it was entertaining! This evening we had a night cap - apple pie and crepes Suzette! JC

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