... is a unique symbol of Polish national identity. Enchantingly picturesque, rich in relics of all epochs, it represents the thousand-year-long history of the Polish nation. In Kraków you can admire many different styles of architecture, unique Romanesque objects, monumental Gothic edifices, and masterpieces by some of the most outstanding architects of the Renaissance and Baroque period. Kraków has always been a centre of Polish culture and science. Damaged by fires, wars and foreign occupation, it has always revived and continued to fascinate with its beauty. As long ago as the 11th century Kraków became the capital city of Poland. The Royal Castle and cathedral on Wawel Hill was the coronation and burial place of Polish monarchs. In the 13th century the layout of the city, which has been preserved till today, was established with what is still one of the biggest market squares in Europe (200 m x 200 m), a Gothic-Renaissance Cloth-hall (Sukiennice) and the Town-hall tower. The city fortification system was built in the 13-15th centuries, parts of the wall, four turrets and a barbican have survived to this day. The site of former walls has been replaced by a green belt called Planty. In the 14th century the Academy of Kraków (later the Jagiellonian University) one of the oldest universities in Europe was founded. Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik) was one of its students.