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World Heritage Site Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)

The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of humanity’s cruelty to its fellow human beings in the 20th century.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

viTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria). All
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Atlas Obscura 2018
Poland’s Iconic ‘Saucer’

Discover Spodek in Katowice, Poland: While the U.S. and Soviet Union were engaged in a space race, Poland built a UFO on the ground.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Zegartowice Mushroom Rock

Discover Grzyb skalny w Zegartowice (Zegartowice Mushroom Rock) in Zegartowice, Poland: This mushroom-shaped rock has frustrated and fascinated locals for centuries.

Atlas Obscura 2021

Discover Rysy in Tatra County, Poland: The majority of the highest mountain in Poland is actually located in a different country.

Audio Guide
Audio Guide
Urbirun Krakow – Highlights
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Atlas Obscura 2016
Kopiec Wandy (Wanda Mound)

Discover Kopiec Wandy (Wanda Mound) in Krakow, Poland: An artificial hill and apparent calendric structure built in the Early Middle Ages immortalizes a legendary Polish princess.

Former Silesian Science Institute
Atlas Obscura 2022
Art Nouveau Church (St. Francis’ Basilica)

Discover Art Nouveau Church (St. Francis' Basilica) in Kraków, Poland:.

Brutalism 1978
Church of St. Jadwiga the Queen
Audio Guide
Audio Guide
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Atlas Obscura 2017
A Science and Technology Park at Czechia’s Historic Industrial Site

The massive 1830s industrial site once known as the country's "Iron Heart" has been transformed.

World Heritage Site 1978
Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines

The deposit of rock salt in Wieliczka and Bochnia has been mined since the 13th century. This major industrial undertaking has royal status and is the oldest of its type in Europe. The site is a serial property consisting of Wieliczka and Bochnia salt …

Atlas Obscura 2019
Wojtek the Soldier Bear Statue

Discover Wojtek the Soldier Bear Statue in Krakow, Poland: A memorial to the beloved brown bear that served in the Polish army during World War II.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Memorial to the Victims of Air Pollution

Discover Memorial to the Victims of Air Pollution in Kraków, Poland: Down this Cracovian street resides a plaque with a stark message about the city's air pollution.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Kraków-Płaszów Concentration Camp

Discover Kraków-Płaszów Concentration Camp in Krakow, Poland: At first glance, this area seems like just another city park, but the lush landscape hides a dark past.

Atlas Obscura 2018
St. Mary’s Basilica

Discover St. Mary's Basilica in Krakow, Poland: St. Mary's features one of the most spectacularly decorated cathedral interiors in all of Europe.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Stará Bystrica Astronomical Clock

Discover Stará Bystrica Astronomical Clock in Stará Bystrica, Slovakia: The world's newest astronomical clock is also its most accurate.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Poland’s Unusual Desert

People have rallied to save Błędów Desert from being reclaimed by the forest.

World Heritage Site 2008
Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area

The Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area inscribed on the World Heritage List consist of two Roman Catholic, three Protestant and three Greek Orthodox churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries. The property presen…

Atlas Obscura 2018
The Real Site of Count Orlok’s Castle

The beautiful 700-year-old fortress where "Nosferatu" was filmed.

Audio Guide 2015
Audio Guide
RenEU – Renaissance route in Malopolska
en pl
Atlas Obscura 2022
Dżok the Dog Monument

Discover Dżok the Dog Monument in Krakow, Poland: A statue commemorating a Polish dog who took his role as man's best friend very seriously.

World Heritage Site 1978
Historic Centre of Kraków

The Historic Centre of Kraków, the former capital of Poland, is situated at the foot of the Royal Wawel Castle. The 13th-century merchants’ town has Europe’s largest market square and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches with their magnific…

Audio Guide
Audio Guide
So that memory doesn’t die
Atlas Obscura 2016
Old Zakopane Cemetery

Discover Old Zakopane Cemetery in Zakopane, Poland: Polish luminaries and masterful folk art find sanctuary in this unique cemetery.

Audio Guide
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Centropa’s synagogue-tour of Krakow
World Heritage Site 2017
Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System

Located in Upper Silesia, in southern Poland, one of the main mining areas of central Europe, the property includes the entire underground mine with adits, shafts, galleries and other features of the water management system. Most of the property is situ…

World Heritage Site 1999
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park

Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a breathtaking cultural landscape of great spiritual significance. Its natural setting – in which a series of symbolic places of worship relating to the Passion of Jesus Christ and the life of the Virgin Mary was laid out at t…

Brutalism 1973
Hotel of Polish Diaspora College, Jagiellonen University
Brutalism 1968
Church of Our Lady the Queen of Poland
Brutalism 1959
Municipal Exhibition Pavilion (today: Bunkier Sztuki)
Brutalism 1978
Hotel Forum
Atlas Obscura 2016
Poland’s Cloud Demon Repelling Tower

Discover Zabytkowa Dzwonnica (Cloud Demon Repelling Tower) in Gmina, Poland: This tower in a small Polish village uses the power of a sacred bell to ward off mischievous weather spirits.

Atlas Obscura 2019
Statue of Jan Matejko

Discover Statue of Jan Matejko in Krakow, Poland: Extremely famous in his native country, this Cracovian painter is all but unknown beyond Polish borders.

Atlas Obscura 2018
Wawel Chakra

Discover Wawel Chakra in Krakow, Poland: This grubby wall is said to be one of the Earth's esoteric energy centers.