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Coat of arms Kraków
Kraków, the capital of Poland until 1596, boasts 24 universities and 44 museums, and it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Its city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains many medieval ancient buildings especially in the area around the market square, which is one the largest in the whole of Europe.
The river Vistula is the longest Polish river, rising on the Czech border and flowing through Warsaw and Kraków before reaching the Baltic Sea near Gdańsk. The impressive Wawel Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral are on the banks of the river in Kraków on the site of a Stone Age settlement. The historic Jewish district also contains many old buildings and we will visit that en route for our conference dinner.
The Jagiellonian University of Kraków is the second oldest university in Central Europe (after Prague) and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. The university was established in 1364, and the library is one of Poland’s largest, with almost 6.5 million books and several medieval manuscripts. The university has over 43, 0000 students and 80 disciplines from which to choose from. AGH University of Science and Technology, established in 1919, is the largest technical university in Poland with more than 15 faculties and student enrollment exceeding 30,000. The Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology (Cracow University of Technology) was established in 1946 and is also well-known with a high reputation.
One of the most famous alumni of the Jagiellonian University is mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who formulated a model of the universe that placed the sun at the center of the universe rather than the Earth. A statue of Copernicus is situated in Kraków’s Planty Park. Another interesting alumni is Stinislaw Lem, who was a science fiction writer best known for his book “Solaris,” which later was made into a film which won the prize for best film at the Cannes festival.