Thursday, April 4, 2013

Most Beautiful Places...Krakow | Lesser Poland, Poland

Krakow  |  Lesser Poland, Poland 


Kraków (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkrakuf] ( listen)) also Cracow, or Krakow (English /ˈkrækaʊ/), is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła) in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century.  Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic hubs. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596; the Grand Duchy of Kraków from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

Karlovy Vary  | Bohemia, Czech Republic (East Europe)


Karlovy Vary (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ] ( listen); German: Karlsbad; English: Carlsbad) is a spa city situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who founded the city in 1370. It is historically famous for its hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River).

In the 19th century, it became a popular tourist destination, especially for international celebrities visiting for spa treatment. The city is also known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the popular Czech liqueur Karlovarská Becherovka. The glass manufacturer Moser Glass is located in Karlovy Vary. The city has also given its name to the famous delicacy known as "Carlsbad plums". These plums (usually Quetsch) are candied in hot syrup, then halved and stuffed into dried damsons; this gives them a very intense flavour.

The city has been used as the location for a number of film-shoots, including the 2006 films Last Holiday and box-office hit Casino Royale, both of which used the city's Grandhotel Pupp in different guises.

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