Krakow

Pigeons

more than a year ago

Reviled by some [raises hand], revered by others, Kraków has more pigeons than any other city in Europe, with the possible exception of Venice. It’s no secret that Poles absolutely adore pigeons, naming various streets ul. Gołębia (B-3) in their honour and creating the cherished national dish ‘gołąbki’ in their image. Nearby Katowice made headlines in 2006 when the roof collapsed on a crowd of 700 people attending the National Pigeon Exhibition, while in Kraków, breeders and buyers flock to Plac Nowy every Tuesday and Friday morning for the bi-weekly pigeon market (a sight to behold, believe us). Every local family has a home video of their kids on the market square covered head to foot in flapping birds, as well as a granny who hoards food from them to feed the flying vermin. If you’re wondering why a pestilent, disease-spreading bird, which does nothing but dirty the streets and has driven all other indigenous ornithological life out of the city, is treated like such nobility by the citizens of Kraków, well, here’s a popular local legend that might help explain it:

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