Tag Archives: Krakow


Jaws was Polish

Fascinating fact about Poland # 35


A film poster advertising the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, which featured the character Jaws.

In Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel THE SPY WHO LOVED ME the ‘real’ name of the character JAWS is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki. He was born in Poland, the product of a union between the strong man of a travelling circus and the Chief Wardress at the Women’s Prison in Krakow!

Jews in Poland

Jews in Poland

A picture postcard posted from Krakow to Dresden in 1907.

A picture postcard of a group of Jews in Krakow at the beginning of the 20th century.

Click on image above to view the picture in a larger size. This is an absolutely splendid image.

synagoge polen

The synagogue in Bielitz Biala (Bielsko-Biała), Poland, c.1910.

Selected related content on Polish Poland:

The synagogue in Bielsko-Biala.

The synagogue in Lodz.

The synagogue in Warsaw.

Brama Florianska in Krakow

St. Florian's Gate Brama Florianska

An old photograph of St. Florian’s Gate (Brama Florianska) in Krakow, Poland, c.1974.

St. Florian’s Gate (Brama Florianska) is a 14th-century gate in Krakow, Poland. The gate, a popular spot for tourists visiting the city, is part of what remains of the city’s fortifications. It was built about 1300 and a rectangular Gothic tower stands above the gate. This tower is more than 30 metres high.

See another picture of St. Florian’s Gate during the German occupation of Krakow.

St. Florian’s Gate in Krakow

St. Florian's Gate city wall krakow

A postcard sent to Breslau during the German occupation of Krakow in 1942.

A photograph showing a Nazi German flag flying from a building close to St. Florian’s Gate, the main gate of the old defensive city wall, in Krakow. The city was then part of the General Government, a separate administrative region of the Third Reich. The General Government was headed by Hans Frank who was based in the city’s Wawel Castle. Germany planned turning Kraków into a completely German city after the removal of all Jews and Poles. Locations and street names were renamed (Brama Florianska becoming Floriantor) and propaganda attempted to portray it as a historically German city.

St. Florian’s Gate was the main entrance into Krakow in the past, with most royal processions and coronations entering the city through the gate, and going onto the Main Square and Wawel Castle.

More details on the Brama Florianska (St. Florian’s Gate) itself.

Wieliczka Salt Mines

Three old images of miners working down in the Wieliczka Salt Mines of Poland.

Wieliczka salt mine

Miners and a horse pulling a railway wagon deep underground in the Wieliczka salt mines, Poland, c.1910.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #1 – the mines house a sanatorium, which, due to the salty atmosphere, some believe helps with everything from asthma to various allergies.

Wieliczka Salt Mines

Salt miners having a rest and tea stop in the Wieliczka Salt Mines sometime around 1920.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #2 – during the Second World War the occupying Germans used the mines for various secret war-related industries.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Poland

Workers with wheelbarrows and a heavy drill down in the Wieliczka Salt Mines of southern Poland, c.1935.

Wieliczka Salt Mine fact #3 – some parts of the mine reach a depth of more than 300 metres.

Wieliczka Salt Mines (Kopalnia soli Wieliczka) are located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, not far from Kraków. The mines which originate in the 13th century produced table salt and are one of the world’s longest-working salt mines. The mines are no longer worked commercially but are now a major tourist attraction, with more than one million people visiting the salt mines each year. The mine includes many statues carved out of the rock salt by the miners, three fantastically ornate chapels and an entire cathedral. Since 1978 the mines have been included in the UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites.

German Occupation of Poland

German occupation of Poland

A photograph taken in Krakow in 1941 showing German soldiers writing postcards in the main market square.

The occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War (1939–1945) began with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and formally concluded with Germany’s defeat by the Allies in May 1945. During this foreign occupation of Poland the country was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union (USSR) with the Nazis Germany acquiring 48% of former Polish territory. In 1941 the land annexed by Russia was taken by German forces in the course of what was initially a successful German attack on the Soviet Union.

About 6 million Polish citizens or around 21% of Poland’s population died between 1939 and 1945 as a result of the occupation, half of whom were Polish Jews. Over 90% of the death toll came through non-military losses. Overall, during German occupation of pre-war Polish territory, most historians agree that the Germans more than 5,000,000 Poles, including nearly 3,000,000 Jews, lost their lives.

The Kosciuszki Mound in Krakow

Images of the Kosciuszki Mound in Krakow through time.

Kosciuszko Mound

An old postcard featuring the Kosciuszko Mound in Krakow, Poland, c.1911.

The Kosciuszko Mound in Krakow is a large hill-like mound constructed in honour of Tadeusz Kosciuszko. It was built in 1823 making use of earth from the battlefields where Kosciuszko fought. The mound reaches a height of 34 metres (112 ft) with the top of the mound offering panoramic views over Krakow.

kosciuszko mound krakow

A photograph taken from the top of the Kosciuszko mound in Krakow, Poland, c.1933.

The cost of the construction of the Kosciuszki Mound was met by donations from Poles living in all territories of Poland under foreign occupation.


An old postcard image of the Kosciuszko mound in Krakow, Poland, c.1959.

Next to the mound there is a fascinating museum devoted to Tadeusz Kościuszko.

Read something about the Polish ‘hero’ – Tadeusz Kościuszko.