Błonia (The Meadows) are unique nature reserve almost in Kraków, probably the biggest of its kind located just in the centre of any European city. Just 15 minutes walk from Rynek (Main Square) you find a large open green space which hasn't changed a bit since... 14th century. It used to be the pasture for animals since that time and even in 20th cent. you could see cows grazing there. Until now all the citizens of Kraków have the official right to let their stock feed there as the law has never been lifted, so if you have a cow or sheep with you on your trip, you know where to leave them :)
The place is great space for outdoor activities:
1. Two adjacent stadiums (of Wisła and Cracovia football clubs, both established in 1906) may give you quite a bit of adrenaline if you like football matches.
2. The pathway around The Meadows is perfect for cycling, running and walking.
3. Ones liking the sun may just lay down there and get some suntan in the summer.
4. The open space of The Meadows is good for football, rugby, taking a walk with your dog etc.
5. Błonia opens for beautiful panoramas, so if you're into photographs, go and shoot the view of imposing Wawel Castle and towers of the Old Town from there. The place is dominated by the Kościuszko Mound, an artificial hill built nearby to celebrate Polish-American national hero. You might like to walk it up for the panoramic view all over the city, it will take you additional 20-30 minutes from Błonia.
6. The place used to hold masses during John Paul 2's visits to his homeland, up to 2 mln people fitted in this 48 hectares area! You may find the monument (in shape of a big rock) dedicated to JP2.
7. Many musical festivals are being held here in the summer.
8. From here you may get the bus 134 taking you to the Zoo in the nearby forest.
9. The Henryk Jordan park adjacent with its pool is great to have a sit in the shade or just go and play some basketball in the special, free and open facilities.
10. 10 minutes walk away you'll find the historical districts of Zwierzyniec (The Zoo district) and Wola Justowska with their villas and monasteries, churches.
Perfect to get away from the busy city in the summer.
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