Visit to Poland - Monday
Today the teachers and some of the Polish pupils met us in our hotel in Krakow. It was an early start for an action packed day. Our Spanish and Turkish partner schools staff also met us. We spent the morning and part of the afternoon with a tour of the beautiful city of Krakow. We started at the Basilica of St Mary’s, one of over 200 churches in the city. It was beautifully decorated and the place where Pope John Paul the second regularly heard people’s confessions when he was the Archbishop of Krakow.
You will notice there are two towers which are different heights. Can you guess why that is? Try and find out but if you can’t I will tell you when I get back. I will also tell you about the fireman who plays the trumpet every hour of every day from 4 different windows of the tower. After this we visited the underground museum which showed us what Krakow Square, the largest square in Europe, would have looked like hundreds of years ago.
Like many European cities they celebrate Many festivals and the one that caused the most amusement was festival , held every September , which celebrates the Daschund (which we call the ‘sausage dog’) I know that one of our governors will be particularly interested in that fact.
We then visited the church of St Francis of Assisi (Not the one in Garston!) In there is a portrait of Father Maximillian Kolbe who I spoke about yesterday.
The final church we visited was by the Wawel Castle and was the Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus (now that is a mouthful so I just called it Krakow Cathedral! It is the Cathedral where Pope John Paul was ordained as a priest in 1946.
We climbed up several steep wooden steps and touched the famous Sigismund’s bell. The bell weighs 10 Tonnes and need 12 people to ring it because it is so heavy. If you touch the bell and make a wish it is supposed to come true. I’ll let you know if this is true at the end of the football season if Sunderland stay in the Premier League.
Finally we finished the crypt where I learnt that a famous man called Frederic Chopin (born March 1810 and died October 1849) was buried. What was he famous for and how old was he when he died?
After a well deserved lunch we were taken to the Wielika Salt Mines, which was a truly amazing experience. Everything that you see in the photos is carved out of salt. Look at the link below and you will be amazed at some of the incredible carvings made out of salt http://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com/visiting/tourist-route
We finally had a long and tiring journey to Przemysl which is where our partner school is situated … there will be a special prize to anyone who can pronounce it properly!
I hope that you’ve all had another brilliant day in St Austin’s.