A glorious city set astride the Vistula River, much of Kraków's marvelous layout was shaped by dynamic historic events that began with the mythical slaying of a dragon. Rumored to have been born at the very spot where this mythological dragon was slain, Kraków thrives today with a rich culture and a striking architectural landscape. At the epicenter of this historic city is the Rynek Glowny, a medieval square deemed to be one of Europe's largest. A rich tapestry of age-old churches, synagogues, brick buildings and other landmarks begin taking shape from here. The Wawel Castle, a 16th Century icon of the Polish dynasty, continues to regale visitors north of the square. Enduring glimpses of architecture from war-torn times of the 20th Century stand preserved, a set of vestiges that escaped unhurt during this dark period in history. Underneath Kraków's deep historic facade, one also encounters a liberating warren of modern symbols like nightclubs, bars and well-heeled restaurants.