KrakÃ³w also Cracow, or Krakow (English), is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. KrakÃ³w has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland’s most important economic hubs. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polishâ€“Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596 the Grand Duchy of KrakÃ³w from 1846 to 1918; and KrakÃ³w Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.