Kraków Historical Timeline

more than a year ago
View of Kraków and Wawel at the end of the 16th century
View of Kraków and Wawel at the end of the 16th century
Kraków's history is long and complex; contemporary attention spans, unfortunately, are short and simple. As such, we've boiled down Kraków's over-1000-year history into an easy-to-digest bullet-point timeline of the city's most memorable moments. If you can actually decipher paragraphs and punctuation, you might prefer our properly written, and yet still extremely succinct, full history of Kraków. In either case, follow the links for more in-depth info on the city's historical happenings.

Kraków Historical Timeline

966: First written record of the city

990: Incorporated into the Piast dynasty

1000: Kraków bishopric established

1038: Kraków becomes the capital of Poland

1241: The beginning of 50 years of Mongol mayhem

1257: Kraków granted municipal rights

1320: Coronation of King Władysław the Short in Wawel Cathedral, the first royal coronation in Kraków
Modern replica of the 'Crown of Bolesław I' used at the coronation of Władysław the Short.

1335: Kazimierz is founded on the eastern bank of the Wisła River

1364: Jagiellonian University founded

1386: Kraków wedding of Polish Queen Jadwiga and Lithuanian grand duke Jagiełło creates the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

1596: Polish capital moved to Warsaw

1655: Swedish army captures and devastates the city

1683: King Jan III Sobieski leads his Polish army from Kraków to Vienna, defeating the Ottoman Empire and saving Christian Europe
Sobieski delivering a message of victory to the Pope after the Battle of Vienna.

1734: Coronation of King August III, the final coronation in Wawel Cathedral

1772: Austrian, Russian and Prussian troops simultaneously invade the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; First Partition of Poland

1791: The May 3rd Constitution is passed; the Second Partition of Poland soon follows

1794: Prussian army captures Kraków after the Kościuszko Uprising; city’s regalia stolen and lost forever

1796: Kraków becomes part of Austrian Galicia after the Third Partition of Poland

1807: Napoleon establishes the Duchy of Warsaw, to which Kraków is added in 1809

1816: The Free City of Kraków is established and becomes a hotbed of Polish political activism

1846: The brief and ill-fated Kraków Uprising results in the end of the Free City of Kraków, returning it to Austrian Galicia

1918: Poland returns to the map of Europe after WWI

1939: Nazi occupation begins after Hitler's September invasion of Poland

1941: The Jewish Ghetto is established in the Podgórze district
Building a wall around the Kraków Ghetto, 1941.

1942: Establishment of the Płaszów concentration camp in Podgórze

1943: Liquidation of the Kraków Ghetto

1945: Kraków ’liberated’ by the Soviet Army

1947: Construction begins on Nowa Huta

1978: Kraków’s Old Town, Wawel and Kazimierz added to the UNESCO World Heritage List; Karol Wojtyła inaugurated as Pope John Paul II

1981: Martial law declared in Poland

1983: Martial law lifted; Lech Wałęsa wins the Nobel Peace Prize

1989: First free elections in Poland in 45 years; Communist regime crumbles
Solidarity supporters at an election rally in Gdynia, 1989.

1999: Poland joins NATO

2000: Kraków is the first Polish city to be named 'European Capital of Culture'

2002: 2.5 million people gather on the Błonia to participate in a mass by Pope John Paul II

2004: Poland joins the European Union

2005: Pope John Paul II passes away plunging PL into national mourning

2010: President Lech Kaczyński and 95 other Polish delegates die in a plane crash near Smoleńsk, Russia; Kaczyński and his wife Maria are controversially buried in the Royal Crypts at Wawel

2012: Poland co-hosts the Euro 2012 football tournament with Ukraine

2013: Kraków is designated official UNESCO 'City of Literature'

2016: Kraków hosts Pope Francis during Catholic World Youth Day


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE