The House of Jan Matejko
The great 19th-century painter’s residence turned into a museum. Jan Matejko (1838-93) is very much the grand old man of Polish painting, and he was a great celebrity of his day. His fame rests chiefly on his dazzling, romantic oil-paintings, which were designed to uplift hearts during the period of Poland's partition. He was a prolific artist (although he often had to churn them out to pay off the debts of his eccentric wife). Such was his prestige that the Emperor Franz Jozef II paid a visit to this house - the very house where Matejko was born and later died - and met the artist and his wife. The museum presents the house as it was in Matejko's day, and there are plenty of works by the master himself. The stairwell and some of the backrooms are a little morose and could do with a fresh touch, but on the whole this is a delighful museum that's well worth seeking out. (from: http://www.cracow-life.com/culture/culture_details/672-The_Jan_Matejko_House)
Florianska Street and Gate in Cracow is an interesting place to visit.
The Florian Gate (St. Florian's Gate, Floriańska Gate) in Kraków, Poland (Polish: Brama Floriańska w ...
Down south the Maria church can be discerned, up north the fortification Barbakan. Photo's taken on D...
On the balcony of the city wall just above the Florianska gate with a look out into Florianska street...
Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Cracow, erected in 1893, was modeled after some of the best European Baro...
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.