Town Hall Tower, Cracow
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Panoramic photo by PanoArt Kraków EXPERT Taken 14:11, 13/02/2012 - Views loading...


Town Hall Tower, Cracow

The World > Europe > Poland > Krakow

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Town Hall Tower in Kraków, Poland (Polish: Wieża ratuszowa w Krakowie) is one of the main focal points of the Main Market Square in the Old Town district of Kraków.

The Tower is the only remaining part of the old Town Hall (Ratusz, see painting, below) demolished in 1820 as part of the city plan to open up the Main Square. Its cellars once housed a city prison with a Medieval torture chamber.

Built of stone and brick at the end of the 13th century, the massive Gothic tower of the early Town Hall stands 70 metres tall and leans just 55 centimetres, the result of a storm in 1703. The top floor of the tower with an observation deck is open to visitors.

from wikipedia:,_Krak%C3%B3w

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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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