Green Places in Krakow

If you think, that you have to ride far away from the city to find some beautiful, green areas, think again! Krakow, which is one of the most eagerly visited Polish cities among tourists and the former capital of Poland, can offer plenty of delightful parks and green areas, which are often found not far from the city crowds and the traffic. In this article, you will be able to read about some of the most well known and gorgeous green areas in the city of Krakow.

The Wolski Forest

The Wolski Forest is a woodland area in the western part of Krakow, which fulfills a recreational function. It occupies the area of 419 hectares. This forest is the location of the Krakow ZOO.

The Wolski Forest grows at the highest hills of the Sowiniec range. The varied land relief is the result of large relative heights. The slopes are cut open by deeply carved gorges and gullies.

In the Wolski Forest there are 32 types of trees. The area is dominated by habitat types of upland and mixed upland forests, which occupy 61% and 39% of land accordingly. The species composition of the tree stand is similar to the natural conditions, which gives the area high landscape values.

The Botanical Garden in Krakow

The Botanical Garden of the Jagiellonian University is located in Krakow, in District II, at 27 Kopernika street.

The botany classes were taught in the Jagiellonian University for medical purposes since the late 16th century, but the academy didn’t have a research garden yet.

The botanical garden in Krakow was established in the place of a garden owned by the Czartoryski family, which was acquired in 1752 by the Jesuits. After the Jesuit order was shut down, the garden was passed to the National Education Commission, whch established a botanical garden as part of the reformation of the Academy of Krakow.

Currently, the Botanical Garden has approximately 5000 species and types of plants from all around the world, including nearly 1000 speciees of trees and bushes and more than 2000 species of greenhouse plants.

Jordan’s Park

The park under the name of Henryk Jordan is a park in Krakow, located between 3 Maja avenue, Reymana street, Reymonta street and the Student Town of the AGH University of Science and Technology.

In 1889, dr. Henryk Jordan initiated the creation of a park in the place of the former agricultural and industrial exhibit, which took place two years earlier. In mid-1888, Boleslaw Malecki, who was the manager of the city gardens, was assigned to develop the park.

In the beginning, people could enter the park by crossing the bridge at Ciepla Woda. This was the location of a wooden gate with an inscription, that said „The City Park of dr. Jordan”.

Currently the park occupies the surface of approximately 21.5 hectares. In its area, visitors can find volleyball, football and basketball fields, a skate park and numerous playgrounds.

Blonia

Blonia is a city park in a form of an extensive meadow with the surface of 48 hectares and the circuit of 3500 meters, loated in Krakow, to the west from the Old Town.

The history of Blonia dates all the way back to 1162. During that time, Jaksa from Miechow, who was a wealthy nobleman, gave the meadow between Zwierzyniec and Lobzow to the Norbertine monastery.

In 1254, bishop Jan Prandota welcomed the legation from Assisi, which passed the canonization bull of Stanislaw from Szczepanow.

Over 100 years later, in 1366, the Norbertine nuns exchanged the land for the stonehouse at Florianska street, but the exchange was not successful, and the property burned shortly afterwards.

Up until the 19th century, Blonia was a neglected area, but after the swamps were dried, it was an excellent place for organizing large gatherings.

Zakrzowek

Zakrzowek is one of the most unique green areas in Krakow. The local lagoon, quarry and Twardowski Rocks attract people from Krakow and its surroundings like a magnet. And there’s nothing surprising about that, because it can offer plenty of activites. Here, visitors can walks, ride a bicycle or just wander around the chatming lagoon.

Zakrzowek is located not far from the city center, in the south-west part of Krakow, between Norymberska, Wylom and Salezjanska streets. If you’re travelling by public transport, the best way to get there is to get off the bus at the Kapelanka stop and then walk down Twardowskiego street.

The name Zakrzowek originated from a topographic term, which used to mean „a place behind bushes”

Planty

Planty is a city park in Krakow, established between 1822 and 1830, with the surface of 21 hectares and the length of 4 kilometers.

Planty was created in the place of the fortifications surrounding the city – defensive walls and the moat and earth embankments, which were located at the foreground of the defensive walls. It was a slushy and neglected area, which fulfilled the function of a garbage dump.

In 1820, a decision was made to create the so-called „city gardens” in this area, which became known as Planty. However, for quite a long time, the people of Krakow called them „Plantacje” (plantations).

The creation of this park began with levelling the area and filling up the moat with infested earth.

In the next stage, the area was planted with trees and bushes, as well as creating alleys and playgrounds.

The Bednarski Park

The park under the name of Wojciech Bednarski is a city park with a large landscape and historical value, established in the late 19th century in the district of Podgorze in Krakow.

The park was established in the surroundings of the former quarry, which has existed since the middle ages. The initiator of the park was Wojciech Bednarski, who was the manager of a school in Podgorze and a social activist.

Around the year 1910, the planting began at the nearby community area known as „Zalesienie”. Up until the end of World War I, there were three monuments at the area of the park, dedicated to Jan III Sobieski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Adam Mickiewicz.

In the 1950s, a large ice rink was functioning in the winter in the area of the former quarry, which was visited by countless families from all around Krakow.

Park Lotników (The Polish Airmen Park)

The Polish Airmen Park (also known as the Park of the Academy of Physical Education) is located in the Czyzyny” XIV District.

This park was established in 1966, at the ruins of the Pszorna stronghold, between the Pokoju and Jana Pawla II avenues. Its main purpose was to isolate the city of Krakow from the metallurgical plant under the name of Sendzimir (previously under the name of Lenin) in the Nowa Huta district. The park was known as „The Park of Culture and Recreation” until 1989, when the council of the city of Krakow renamed it for its current name – the Polish Airmen Park.

Currently, the park occupies the surface of approximately 60 hectares. In its area, there are walking and cycling alleys, Krakow Arena – a sport and event hall and the Experiment Garden.

Bagry

Bagry is a water reservoir, created as a result of drowning local gravel pits. It is located between Lipska and Wielicka streets, in the „Podgórze” XIII district. It is one of the largest water reservoirs within the borders of Krakow.

The Bagry Lagoon was only created in 1945. Earlier, its area was occupied by excavations, which were the place of forced labor of prisoners from the Baudienst camp, located at Lukasiewicza street.

Although the camp was shut down in 1944, the pumps were still draining the inflowing water to the Vistula river.

At the area of the Bagry Lagoon there is a swimming place, which is protected in the summer. There are also three marinas and a water equipment rental. At the edges of the lagoon there are also wild beaches.

Przylasek Rusiecki

Przylasek Rusiecki used to be a village nearby Krakow, and today it is a residential estate at the area of the Nowa Huta district, the large part of which is occupied by a complex of 14 water resrvoirs.

In recent years, Przylasek Rusiecki became popular as a fishing spot and swimming area. There are plans for the future to create a river park in the area surrounding the water reservoir, as well as a „Branice” Educational Park along with an open-air museum presenting the history of Western Cracovians.

Between 2020 and 2021, the swimming area number 1 in Przylasek Rusiecki was expanded.

A new parking lot, a water equipment rental and a playground were added. Another new element is a series of platforms with the total length of nearly 1 kilometer.

Zalew Nowohucki

Zalew Nowohucki is an artificial water reservoir and the surrounding park, located in the old part of the Nowa Huta district. It occupies the area between the Solidarnosci avenue from the south and Bulwarowa street from the west.

The park and the lagoon were given to public use in 1957 as one of the recreational areas of the Nowa Huta district. They were constructed at the area of a two-kilometer protected green area and they occupy the surface of approximately 17 hectares.

In the 1950s and the 1960, the lagoon served as a recreational place and a location for family picnics, sport event and concerts. Later, it remained neglected for quite a long time, and it wasn’t until the early 21st century, that the lagoon and its surroundings were redeveloped.

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