Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland and is situated on the Vistula River. Dating back to the 7th century, Krakow has been a leading city in Poland for academic, cultural and artistic life. From 1038 to 1596 Krakow was Poland’s capital city, from 1846 to 1918 it was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Krakow and from the 14th century to 1999 it was the capital of Krakow Voivodeship and now it is the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.
Krakow began as a small settlement on Wawel Hill and was reported as being a busy trading centre of Europe in 965. During the birth of the Second Polish Republic new universities and cultural venues emerged, and during the 20th century Krakow confirmed its role as a major academic and national arts centre.
In 1978, UNESCO approved the Old Town for its World Heritage List.