Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Auschwitz-Birkenau and Kraków, Poland

I specifically visited Kraków so that I could go to Auschwitz-Birkenau (it was as depressing as you'd expect), and was pleased to find the city thoroughly charming, and quite busy at the end of winter.

The Auschwitz concentration camp entrance gate with the sign "Arbeit macht frei" or "Work makes you free" (a replica of the original sign, which was stolen in December 2009, and since recovered, cut into three pieces)

Auschwitz electric fence

Birkenau extermination camp: end of the line (I could not believe how many tourists were getting their photos taken, draped across these train tracks)

Birkenau memorial

Birkenau memorial

Birkenau gas chamber destroyed by German troops as the Soviet forces approached in November 1944

Guard tower with Birkenau camp buildings in the background

Wawel Hill featuring Wawel Castle, Kraków

Wawel Cathedral

Dominican Church, Kraków old town

Church of SS Peter and Paul, Kraków old town

Town Hall tower, Rynek Główny (Main Market Square), Kraków old town

Rynek Główny

St Mary's Basilica, Rynek Główny

Florian Gate, Kraków old town

Old city walls extending from Florian Gate

Courtyard of Collegium Maius, the oldest university building in Poland

Next: Budapest, Hungary...

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