Rotaract European Meeting Cracow 2021

giovedì 23 settembre 2021 12:00 - domenica 26 settembre 2021 16:00 , Cracow, Poland
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Are you as excited as we are about the upcoming REM? 


Did you know that Cracow is well known for its legends? It seems like the whole city has been built on them. Wanna learn more about that? Keep reading!


In ancient times, the Wawel Dragon terrorised King Krak’s city. The beast required ransoms of cattles everyday, otherwise it would devour virgins… No knight could vanquish the monster, until a young shoemaker called Skuba outsmarted the Dragon. He stuffed a ram’s hide with sulphur and pitch, and put the doctored ram in front of the Dragon’s Den. The monster, hungry as always, caught the bait. Immediately, it felt a bad pain and burning in its stomach. To quench its thirst, the Dragon started to drink from the Vistula River. However, as water cannot extinguish burning sulphur, the gases produced by the fires inside him made the beast explode. The shoemaker was properly awarded by the king and till this day, people from Krakow use the word “Skubany” to describe someone clever and sneaky. When you visit the castle during REM Cracow 2021, don’t forget to visit the statue of the dragon at the bank of Vistula river – near its cave.


As in most European cities, the heart of Krakow is the market square, which is dominated by the towers of one of the most important churches in Poland – St. Mary’s Church. Every hour from one of the towers the trumpeter plays a melody that suddenly breaks up. In 1241, Tatars attacked the city of Cracow. According to the legend, when the trumpeter who was guarding the city saw it, he started to play a trumpet. He managed to warn the city of the attack but a Tatar arrow pierced his throat while he was playing. That is why the melody of the so-called “hejnał” ends so unexpectedly – in the same moment where the heroic trumpeter stopped playing it. When you come to our city you will hear this melody many times. Make sure to think about the hero of Cracow legends then!


Crakow used to be in the middle of a trade route, which was why the market had an enormous importance to the city. People had to pay for using the streets and to sell goods on the market. Krakow quickly became a wealthy city and the new capital. In the Cloth Hall you can find a knife hanging above the entrance. According to a legend, St. Mary’s Church was built by two brothers. Yet, when one of them realised that his brother’s tower is higher, he killed him with a knife, which is now hanging above the entrance to the Cloth Hall. That’s why the two towers are of different heights.


While in Cracow you may hear of, or see those strange little mountains within the city. They are called “mounds” and they are a Cracovian way of honoring people that were very important to the city. We have 4 of them, located in a different part of the city. Two of them that are oldest, are connected to the legend of the mythical king Krak and his daughter Wanda. Wanda was a princess, who didn’t want to marry a prince from a strange land because she didn’t love him, and she feared it would not be good for their small kingdom. What did she do? Wanda jumped from the castle to the Vistula river. Her body washed out in a village further down the river, and the villagers decided to honour their princess by erecting a mound over her grave. Since then, the village has been called “Mogiła” which means “Grave”. Make sure to visit at least one mound while in the city, the panorama of Cracow viewed from them is stunning.


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