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City Charter and Wax Seal, Krakow, Poland, 2002

Photo: Krakow charter and seal

Poland's capital since 1038, Krakow, the bustling trade center of Slavonic Europe, entered its golden age in the 15th century, when this historic charter was sealed. Under the 45-year reign of King Casimir IV, Poland emerged as one of Europe's greatest powers and a thriving cultural center. Scholars (including Copernicus), architects, and artists contributed to Krakow's magnificent renaissance.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Bohemian Rhapsody," July/August 2002, National Geographic Traveler magazine)

Photograph by Les Stone

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