Krakow as it looked in the 15th century.
The first panoramic view of
appeared in Hartmann Schedl's Liber cronicarum,
published in Nuremberg in 1493. It was just a year after
Christopher Columbus had left for India and found himself in
the New World to everybody's surprise. And two years later
Nicolaus Copernicus completed his studies at the famous Krakow university.
of Krakow and the city of Kazimierz.
This half-realistic and half-fanciful picture shows the
medieval Poland's metropolis Cracovia from the north
alongside its twin city of Kazimierz
(Casimirus). Above them hovers the magic castle of Polish
kings atop the Wawel Hill. In general terms the image
rather faithfully represents the 15th-century features of
the cities of Krakow and Kazimierz, their topography and
Krakow, the medieval capital of Poland.
The last decade of the 15th century marked the beginning of
Poland's Golden Age when the democratic kingdom commanded a
vast territory from the Baltic to the Black Sea and became a
major European power as well as a powerhouse for the
continent's economy while its culture flourished like never
before. At the same time Krakow, the country's capital since
1038, entered upon one of its best periods in history. Its burghers could even afford
to fund the world's largest and grandest
altarpiece ever for the city's central
basilica of the Virgin Mary's.
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