History of the Population of Krakow – Poland’s Royal City

Picture of the Matejko Square in Krakow from above.

Kraków is one of Poland’s oldest and most historically important towns. Learn about its rich history and see the cultural landmarks that have helped shape its legacy.

When you walk through Kraków’s cobblestone streets, you can feel the city’s past. Kraków, which used to be the capital of Poland, is a cultural fabric that is full of threads from the past and the bright colours of its present spirit. This piece takes you on a trip through time to show how Kraków’s population has changed over time. It compares the city’s unique character to Warsaw’s busy metropolis and looks at the key events that have affected its demographic change. We will peel back the layers of Kraków’s history and show how this Polish city has become a symbol of strength and cultural beauty, from the partitions that changed the country’s borders to the early records that marked important population events. Discover the heart of Kraków with us. This city is proud to represent Poland’s rich history and tradition.

Exploring the Vibrant Population of Krakow, the Historic City in Poland

Kraków has long been a place where different kinds of people and ideas come together. Kraków is one of the oldest towns in Poland, and its large population shows both how important it is historically and how it has grown and stayed strong over the years. The city’s past, including the influence of the Jewish population and its role as a learning centre with the prestigious Jagiellonian University, has shaped its people. Today, the city is still doing well, and each of its areas is full of life and tells its own part of the story of Krakow as a whole. The people who live in Kraków show why the city is a cultural and historical centre in Poland, from the royal rooms of Wawel Castle to the historic streets that made it a World Heritage Site.

There are about 804,200 people living in Krakow right now (according to krakow.stat.gov.pl). The number of people living in the city has grown by about 0.17% since the 2022 census. About 8 million people live within 100 km of the Krakow Main Square.

Notable Figures in Krakow’s History

Many famous people were born in Krakow throughout history. Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer came up with the heliocentric model of the world while attending the University of Krakow. His revolutionary thoughts changed the way we think about the universe.

Another Krakowian luminary is Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyła. Serving as the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, he was a pivotal figure in global affairs, advocating for human rights and world peace.

The city also boasts the birth of Helena Rubinstein, a pioneering businesswoman in the cosmetics industry. Her innovative approach to beauty products made her an international icon.

These individuals, born in Krakow, left an indelible mark on the world stage, each contributing to the realms of science, religion, business, and the arts.

Krakow vs Warsaw: Comparing the Populations of Poland’s Prominent Cities

The Partition of Poland had a huge effect on Kraków’s population and its demographics. As one of the most important events in Kraków’s history, the partitions changed the city’s standing in a big way. The partitions split the once-proud Kingdom of Poland into several smaller countries. Kraków, which is on the Vistula River and in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, was right in the middle of these political changes. The partitions directly led to the creation of the Grand Duchy of Kraków, which caused big changes in the city’s population patterns, such as the movement and settlement of Jews and people of other ethnic groups. Even with these problems, Kraków kept its title as the cultural heart of Poland. Attractions like Wawel Castle and the prestigious Jagiellonian University continued to bring people from all over Europe. Kraków is one of the oldest towns in Poland. Its strength during the partition has made it even more important as a World Heritage Site and a symbol of Polish heritage.

Looking into Kraków’s early history and important events in its population

The Partition of Poland had profound implications on the demographic impact and the population of Kraków. As a pivotal event in the history of Kraków, the city’s status shifted dramatically during the partitions, which saw the once proud Kingdom of Poland divided among neighboring powers. Kraków, situated by the Vistula River and within the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, found itself at the heart of these geopolitical upheavals. The creation of the Grand Duchy of Kraków was a direct result of these partitions, leading to significant changes in the city’s population dynamics, including the movement and resettlement of the Jewish population and other ethnic groups. Despite these challenges, Kraków maintained its reputation as the cultural capital of Poland,  with landmarks like Wawel Castle and the esteemed Jagiellonian University continuing to attract individuals from across the continent. As one of the oldest cities in Poland, Kraków’s resilience in the face of partition has only solidified its standing as a World Heritage Site and a beacon of Polish heritage.

Delving into the Early History of Kraków and Its Population Milestones

The tapestry of Kraków’s early history is intricately interwoven with significant population milestones that have marked its journey as one of the oldest cities in Poland. Tracing back to its origins in the 7th century, Kraków’s strategic position along the Vistula River fostered its development into a vital trade hub, which by the 14th century had burgeoned into a prominent academic and cultural center with the founding of the Jagiellonian University. The city’s ascension as the cultural capital of Poland was further solidified when Casimir I the Restorer, King of Poland made Krakow the seat of his power in 1038. This move caused the city’s population to grow considerably in the following decades. The Jewish population also flourished, particularly in the Kazimierz district, contributing to Kraków’s rich multicultural fabric. It endured as the center of power throughout two different dynasties and multiple elected kings until King Sigismund II moved the status of capital to Warsaw. Recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1978, Kraków’s historical significance and its role in the Partition of Poland have continually shaped its demographic landscape, reinforcing its status as one of the largest cities in Poland within the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The iconic Wawel Castle stands as a symbol of the city’s storied past, attracting countless visitors and scholars, and playing a pivotal role in the ongoing narrative of Kraków’s population history.

The Resilience of Kraków: From Royal Capital to Modern Metropolis

Over the course of its long history, Kraków has shown amazing strength, changing from a royal city to a thriving modern metropolis. After the invasion and later Partition of Poland, the city’s recovery and growth show that it was able to change and thrive. The district of Nowa Huta, which was originally planned as a model socialist city and an industrial hub, may best show how strong Kraków’s spirit is. It has become an important part of the city and helped it become one of the biggest in Poland. With the end of World War II and Poland’s freedom, Kraków continued to change. This led to major urban and artistic growth. Many important people have had an impact on the city’s past. For example, Pope John Paul II, who was Archbishop of Kraków before becoming pope, left an indelible mark on the city’s religious and cultural landscape.

Kraków has been a World Heritage Site since 1978. It is a famous place for art and culture because it cares about both the past and the present. The beautiful mediaeval building and long history of Wawel Castle, which stands tall on Wawel Hill in the city’s historical centre, continue to captivate tourists. Kazimierz, the area that used to be a Jewish quarter, has been fixed up and is now a lively centre for cultural events and remembering the Jews who lived there in the past. Kraków is a city that has not only lived but also thrived through the changes of time. Its mix of historical reverence and modern energy makes it both a testament to Poland’s past and a vision of its future.


Kraków’s past has been rough at times, with invasions, partitions, and wars. Despite this, the city kept growing, both culturally and in terms of population. After the war, Kraków went through a time of rebuilding and revitalization, which caused the city’s population to grow quickly. It keeps growing thanks to its strong economy, popularity with tourists, and role as an educational hub. The city’s historical neighbourhoods and the famous Wawel Castle show how appealing it is, bringing in both tourists and new residents and adding to the story of Kraków’s population growth.


Is Krakow the biggest city in Poland?

Krakow is the second largest Polish city behind the capital city of Warsaw. Krakow has approximately 804 thousand inhabitants, while Warsaw totals at around 1,8 million.

Is Kraków or Wrocław bigger?

Kraków is the larger city. Wrocław is the third largest city in Poland with total population at around 674,000 citizens (according to Wroclaw.stat.gov.pl).

Is Gdansk bigger than Krakow?

No, Kraków has a larger population. Gdansk is the 6th most populous city of Poland at around 486,500 citizens (according to Gdansk.pl), while Krakow’s population stands at around 804,200 (according to Krakow.stat.gov.pl)

5/5 - (1 vote)
All comments.