The Princes Czartoryski Museum
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Panoramic photo by Karol Kwiatek EXPERT Taken 23:10, 30/07/2008 - Views loading...


The Princes Czartoryski Museum

The World > Europe > Poland > Krakow

Tags: church, museum, street

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You may not always get a princely welcome, but the museum itself ranks amongst the finest private museums in Europe. Initially founded as a patriotic endeavour during the era of Poland's collapse, the museum has had a dramatic history. It's a wonder that so much of the collection has survived at all. But survive it has, and here you can take a spirited journey through Poland's history, with a host of eccentric extras on the way. You may get sick of hearing about the Leonardo da Vinci, and the nineteenth century rooms are often inexplicably closed, but all things considered, this is an unmissable element in Cracow's cultural canon. (from

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Nearby images in Krakow


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This panorama was taken in Krakow, Europe

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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.

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