Historical facts - after 1918
After the war, under the Polish People's Republic, the intellectual and academic community of Kraków was put under total political control. The universities were soon deprived of printing rights and autonomy.63 The Stalinist government ordered the construction of the country's largest steel mill in the newly created suburb of Nowa Huta.64 The creation of the giant Lenin Steelworks (now Sendzimir Steelworks owned by Mittal) sealed Kraków's transformation from a university city to an industrial centre.65 The new working class, drawn by the industrialisation of Kraków, contributed to rapid population growth.
In an effort that spanned two decades, Karol Wojtyła, cardinal archbishop of Kraków, successfully lobbied for permission to build the first churches in the new industrial suburbs.6566 In 1978, Wojtyła was elevated to the papacy as John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In the same year, UNESCO placed Kraków Old Town on the first-ever list of World Heritage Sites.
For better organization of package tours dealing with sightseeing of Krakow, set in the city several tourist routes, so that tour guides certainly not skip some interesting places during the show tourists around the city. One of the important points of a visit to Krakow is a tour of Krakow's religious monuments, which after all, in this city there is no shortage, and are a very good testimony to the progressive development of the architecture. Many people will want to also travel route in the footsteps of John Paul II. The traditional route, which is not to be missed during a visit to Krakow is also a route that allows to know the history of Polish kings, who resided in this city.
Golden Age and Cracow
The 15th and 16th centuries were known as Poland's Złoty Wiek or Golden Age. Many works of Polish Renaissance art and architecture were created, including ancient synagogues in Kraków's Jewish quarter located in the north-eastern part of Kazimierz, such as the Old Synagogue. During the reign of Casimir IV, various artists came to work and live in Kraków, and Johann Haller established a printing press in the city after Kasper Straube had printed the Calendarium Cracoviense, the first work printed in Poland, in 1473.
In 1520, the most famous church bell in Poland, named Zygmunt after Sigismund I of Poland, was cast by Hans Behem. At that time, Hans Dürer, a younger brother of artist and thinker Albrecht Dürer, was Sigismund's court painter. Hans von Kulmbach made altarpieces for several churches. In 1553, the Kazimierz district council gave the Jewish Qahal a licence for the right to build their own interior walls across the western section of the already existing defensive walls. The walls were expanded again in 1608 due to the growth of the community and influx of Jews from Bohemia. In 1572, King Sigismund II, the last of the Jagiellons, died childless. The Polish throne passed to Henry III of France and then to other foreign-based rulers in rapid succession, causing a decline in the city's importance that was worsened by pillaging during the Swedish invasion and by an outbreak of bubonic plague that left 20,000 of the city's residents dead. In 1596, Sigismund III of the Swedish House of Vasa moved the administrative capital of the Polish?Lithuanian Commonwealth from Kraków to Warsaw