Krakow Barbican

The Krakow Planty Run

Journeys » The Krakow Planty Run

July 15, 2023: I anticipated this for months: The Krakow Planty Run, through the park that rings Krakow’s old town.  Thank heavens for “Planty” of shade!

I sure wish it was more hot and humid today.

No Runner Ever

The “Charon” heat dome has enveloped Europe for days.  Italy, Spain, and Greece have had the worst of it, with highs of 118F predicted for Sardinia.  The Greeks even closed the Acropolis!  Central Europe has been no exception, with temperatures in Prague and Krakow about 15F hotter than monthly averages. 

But that’s no excuse; I want this run!

The Shady Planty
The Shady Krakow Planty

Running the Planty

With the advent of cannon, medieval city walls and moats were of little use.  So in the 1800s the Habsburg (Austrian) Empire had them leveled in their leading cities, creating beautiful parks in their stead. 

Krakow’s walls become the “Planty”, from the Polish word for “flat” – a word every runner loves.  This shady park circles the old town for 2.5 miles.  I found two other routes on Great Runs and connected them for a hot but inspiring morning run.

Planty Music
Enjoying music along the way
Music in the Planty
These guys were phenomenal!
Wawel Hill
Krakow Castle on Wawel Hill
Along the Vistula River
Along the Vistula River
Krakow Run Route
Krakow Run Route

Dark History

While Krakow’s medieval history and architecture are interesting, the more recent past is dark.  The WWII Jewish Ghettos were horrifying, and the atrocities of Auschwitz-Birkenau are just 42 miles to the west. 

But there are bright spots of humanity here as well: Oskar Schindler’s factory (Schindler’s List) is east of the ghetto.  From a nearby Nazi stone quarry, Karol Józef Wojtyła survived forced labor join the seminary. He become Pope John Paul II, and brought and end to the next evil – Soviet Communism.

Krakow’s history is worth a deeper dive, perhaps in later posts.

For now, enjoy a few joyous contemporary pics of this beautiful city from The Krakow Planty Run.

The Bear with the Hair
The Bear with the Hair
Krakow Jordana Park
Cooling off in Jordana Park
St. Mary's Basilica at dusk
St. Mary’s Basilica at dusk

More Running Bytes from Around the World

The Zagreb Rerun

We had time for a quick Zagreb Rerun this year.  Though short, it was a nostalgic stop, like visiting an old friend.

The Budapest Run

The Budapest run covered a millennium, from Magyars on invading on horseback to the 1956 revolt against the Soviets. What a city! What a run!

Running Prague

I drifted to sleep last night with visions running Prague in the cool morning, before the arrival of the heat and tourist crowds.  I’d have the Charles Bridge and its views of St. Vitus Cathedral all to myself.  Bliss!


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