Krakow

Leisure

Bednarski Park (Park Bednarskiego)

Opened with great fanfare at the end of the 19th century, the park's founder Wojciech Bednarski was reportedly carried around like a winning quarterback for his accomplishment, while newspapers as far away as St. Petersburg applauded the park's establishment. Rightfully so, as it has endured and grown to become arguably the city's most beautiful park/natural space, thanks to its unique geographic perch above the city, its picturesque limestone cliffs, mysterious untamed expanses, and multitude of large trees, of which there are over a hundred species. Officially Bednarski Park occupies 9.2 hectares, but the green terrain above the centre of Podgrze basically covers the entire area between Rynek Podgórski in the east and the Mateczny Roundabout in the west. Between them you'll find endless spaces to explore - most of them wild and wooded as opposed to well-manicured - including the area of a former quarry, the remains of an 18th century fort, abandoned buildings, a crumbling sports arena, television tower and playground for kids. A grand staircase (one of several) leads you into the park from Plac Niepodległości, or enter from ul. Parkowa behind St. Joseph's Church; between them you'll find the playground and more paved, developed part of the park, while the area to the west is mostly unpaved trails through the hills. In turns open and inviting, shadowy and chimerical, this captivating natural landscape provides local residents endless opportunities for exploration, and even some fine views of the city below.

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