Kraków, Poland - The Traveling Trio

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Kraków, Poland - The Traveling Trio
Kraków, Poland
Flag of Poland
Coat of Arms
of Kraków
Kraków is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in
Poland, with evidence of a Stone Age settlement on the present site of Wawel Hill, on top of which is built the Wawel
Castle. Construction on the castle was started about 800
years ago by a king named Casimir III the Great.
Smok Wawelski - The Dragon who Started it All!
Legends say that during the Middle Ages, the days of knights and castles, a terrible fire-breathing dragon lived in a cave below the hill. The
dragon was named Smok Wawelski. He came out of his cave every day
and ate people from the countryside. The ruler at the time, King Krak,
promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who could kill the
dragon. The story says that many knights tried, but nobody could kill
the terrible beast. Finally, a poor cobbler’s son stuffed a lamb with sulphur and put it outside the cave for the dragon to eat. The dragon ate the
lamb and became very thirsty. He went to the river and drank so much
water that he finally exploded. That was the end of Smok Wawelski!
And the cobbler’s son was very happy to marry the king’s daughter! The
town was later named after King Krak….that’s why it’s called Kraków.
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Statue of Smok Wawelski really breathes fire!
Photograph
of Wawel Castle
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Kraków, Poland
Saint Mary’s Basilica and a Very Big Altar
Throughout history, the majority of Polish people have
followed the religion of Roman Catholicism, which is a
type of Christianity. Saint Mary’s Basilica is a Catholic
church. Inside the church is Saint Mary’s altar. This is
one of the largest altarpieces in the world. The altar is
carved out of wood and is 13 meters tall. That’s about
43 feet. Every day at 11 o’clock, the doors are opened to
reveal religious scenes.
Saint Mary’s Tower
High above St. Mary’s church is
a tall tower. The tower was built
600 years ago!
13 meters tall
A religious altar as tall as a house!
Olivia Says:
I like climbing towers
in cities, because once
you get to the top you can
see everything from another angle.
It’s neat to see how the city
looks from the sky!
I also like to challenge myself and
see if I can count how many steps
it takes to reach the top of
each tower.
Polish Money
The money in Poland
is called Zloty, which
means golden.
World War II
You may have learned some things about World War II in school. This was a war that
happened not very long ago. You might even know people who were alive during
this war. It was a terrible time for all of the people of the world but especially for the
children of Poland, who were often separated from their parents and made to live in
concentration camps where they were forced to live in terrible conditions for many
months or years. World War II started in Poland. When World War II began, there
were over two-hundred thousand Jewish people living in Kraków. By the end of the
war, all but six thousand Jews had been killed or had fled the country. Can you imagine how scary it would have been to be one of the kids who lived during this war?
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2
Kraków, Poland
The Jagiellonian University
Ingram Says:
The Jagiellonian University is one of
the oldest schools in Europe. It’s over
700 years old and has been considered home to many great thinkers
throughout history.
Nicolaus Copernicus
One of the most famous students of the
Jagiellonian University was Nicolaus
Copernicus. He was the founder of
the idea that our solar system revolves around the Sun. For over a
thousand years before Copernicus
was born, people believed the teachings of two men; Plato and
Aristotle, who was Plato’s student. He had a lot of incredible ideas
and wrote books about them. In fact, many of his ideas are still around
today, but one thing he wrote about was all wrong. That’s the idea that
the Earth is the center of the universe, and everything else revolves
around it. This idea is called the geocentric model. Geocentric means
Earth in the center.
By observing the world around him and trying to think in a different way, Copernicus came up with his own ideas. What he came up
with was the heliocentric model. Heliocentric means Sun in the center.
Copernicus believed the Sun was in the center and that everything
revolves around it.
He proved the thousand-year-old theories wrong, and he was only
22 years old when he started coming up with these astronomical ideas.
Inside the Jagiellonian
University is a museum
where you can do lots of
experiments to see how your senses
work. I thought it was awesome. I
especially liked testing my vision.
There was also a laboratory from
hundreds of years ago with mummified
animals that the scientists researched
back then. Very cool!
Geocentric means Earth in the center
(answers on page 6)
Riddle 1
Name an ancient invention,
which is still used in some
parts of the world today,
that allows people to see
through walls.
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Riddle 2
I have seas without water
I have forests without wood
I have deserts without sand
I have cities without buildings
What am I?
Heliocentric means Sun in the center
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Kraków, Poland
Wieliczka Salt Mine
On the outskirts of Kraków is the Wieliczka salt mine. It
has been producing salt for about 700 years! The mine consists of 2,350 rooms and is over 300 kilometers long. That’s
almost 200 miles. Inside some of the rooms you can see
detailed sculptures all made of salt, and the crystal chandeliers which hang throughout the larger chambers of the
mine are also made of crystal-clear rock salt. These days,
over a million people visit this mine every year just to see
what it looks like inside. The salt in this mine was formed
13-and-a-half million years ago. The walls of the mine
look like regular stone, but if you’re brave enough to lick
them, you’ll find out they taste like salt!
Everett Says:
Born in Kraków
This boy was born in Kraków and survived
World War II. He wasn’t Jewish, he was
Catholic, though he was known to risk his
own life to help several Jewish people during
the war. His name was Karol Józef Wojtyła
when he was young, but when he grew up, he
became Pope John Paul II. He was the pope of
the Roman Catholic Church for many years.
Did you know that Pope John Paul II could
speak 13 languages? That must have taken a
lot of studying!
Sister Cities
Kraków is a “sister city” (or maintains close
relationships) with over 30 cities around the
world. Three of these cities are in the United
States of America:
1. Cambridge, Massachusetts (since 1989)
2. San Francisco, California (since 1973)
3. Rochester, New York (since 2009)
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When our guide at the salt
mine told us we could lick the
walls, I thought she was joking, but then
she said she was serious... So, I tried
it. When I tasted the walls, I couldn’t
believe how salty they were! I love salt,
and those walls were delicious!
Learn the Language
In English
In Polish
Sounds like
Yes
Tak
Tawk
No
Nie
Nee-ya
How are you?
Jak się masz?
Yawk sheh mawsh
Hello
Witaj
Vee-tie
Good Day
Dzień dobry
Jane doe-bree
Please
Proszę
Pro-sheh
Thank you
Dziękuję
Jen-kwee-yeh
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Kraków, Poland
Word Find
K
S
Y
K
S
M
O
K
W
A
W
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S
K
I
J
I
I
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W
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M
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D
N
Ć
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W
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A
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A
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P
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Z
Ę
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K
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Ć
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A
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C
I
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R
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O
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A
N
J
W
I
A
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N
O
I
Ń
Ę
(answers on page 6)
A
C
D
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A
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A
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Review
Z
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P
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SMOK WAWELSKI
DRAGON
JEWISH
KING KRAK
CATHOLIC
CASTLE
SALT
BASILICA
MINE
SUN
JAGIELLONIAN
EARTH
COPERNICUS
WORLD WAR II
PLATO
SOLAR SYSTEM
ARISTOTLE
UNIVERSE
GEOCENTRIC
JAK SIĘ MASZ
HELIOCENTRIC
WITAJ
TAK
CZEŚĆ
KRAKÓW
DZEIŃ DOBRY
POLAND
PROSZĘ
SISTER CITIES
DZIĘKUJĘ
LANGUAGE
Hidden words may be forward, backward,
up or down. There are no diagonal words.
(answers on page 6)
1. What is the name of the legendary dragon who lived under Wawel
Hill and terrorized the people of the countryside?
______________________________________________________
2. Which astronomer founded the idea of the heliocentric (Sun in the
center) model? Was it Aristotle, Plato or Copernicus?
______________________________________________________
3. What is Polish money called and what does the name of the money
mean?
______________________________________________________
4. What mineral has been extracted from the Earth in the Wieliczka
mine for over 700 years? Hint: It tastes good on your food!
Use your imagination to answer this question:
______________________________________________________
What is Plato saying to Aristotle?
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5
Kraków, Poland
Word Find (completed)
K
S
Y
K
S
M
O
K
W
A
W
E
L
S
K
I
J
I
I
H
E
W
Y
M
O
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N
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Get Yourself Thinking
These questions are intended to help get the thought process going, and
are well suited for group discussion.
1. The Traveling Trio tasted the walls inside a salt mine by licking them.
How do you think people could have first discovered there was salt in
the rocks near Kraków, Poland?
2. Nicolaus Copernicus demonstrated that the Earth rotates around the
Sun. Why do you think some people believed the Sun rotated around
the Earth for over a thousand years before Copernicus said otherwise?
Hint: Think about sunrise and sunset.
3. Think of the kids who lived in Kraków, Poland during World War II.
How would you feel if soldiers from another country came into your
home and said you had one hour to gather your things and leave? If
you could only take one small suitcase full of things, what would you
take with you?
Educational materials
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Answer Key
“Think it Through” from page 3.
Riddle 1. A window.
Riddle 2. I am a map!
“Review” from page 5.
1. Smok Wawelski
2. Copernicus
3. “Zloty” means Golden
4. Salt
Polish Language Guide
In the Polish language there are several letters that
are not used in English and several letters that are
used in English, yet are pronounced differently.
Here is a guide to help you correct your Polish pronunciation. With the tricks given here, you can read
back over this fact sheet and correct any words you
may have accidentally said incorrectly.
In Polish
Sounds like
Kraków
Kraw-kow
Smok Wawelski
Smoke Va-vel-skee
Wawel
Va-vel
Zloty
Zloe-tee
Jagiellonian
Ya-gee-ah-lone-ee-un
Wieliczka
Vee-lits-kaw
(Karol) Józef Wojtyła Yo-sef Voy-tee-wah
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