A rhapsody in East European crafts

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Since the fall of communism, cities in Eastern Europe have blossomed with a wide and varied range of shopping possibilities. New boutiques, galleries and specialty shops of all types have opened, and Western-style malls have mushroomed in both suburbs and downtown districts.

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Poland is famous for its handmade amber and silver jewelry, and a number of shops in the Rynek area and old town overflow with ropes of amber beads and stunning, high-quality designer pieces. Poland is also known for its graphic artists, and a selection of works by Polish artists can be found at galleries such as the Jan Fejkiel gallery at Grodzka 25.
 
 
The ornate rectangular building in the middle of the Rynek is gift-shopping heaven. Called the Sukiennice, or cloth hall, it is an enormous covered market 100 meters, or 328 feet, long that has been a major site of trade in Krakow since medieval times.
 
 
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Away from the Rynek area, the old Jewish quarter of Krakow, Kazimierz, has recently developed into a trendy shopping, entertainment and tourist district. Jozefa Street now boasts a range of contemporary art galleries and shops selling quality handicrafts, jewelry, and antiques. There is also a weekend open-air antiques fair and flea market on nearby Plac Nowy.
 
 
 
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Source: International Herold Tribune
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