Market Square

Author:

Krzysztof Bień
The heart of Krakow

Entering Krakow’s superb Market Square is never less that a pleasure, and often an inspiration – even for Krakowians who do it daily. For the visitor, it’s pure gravy. Though it contains some of the most important cultural monuments in Poland, the central Market Square is famous also for simply being itself: located in the heart of the medieval city, it is one of the largest in Europe (200m x 200m, or 656 x 656 ft). But size isn’t everything – there’s also charm, style and perspectives to die for of the monuments themselves and the streets radiating out from the square. Always lively and full of people, in the spring and summer the square becomes a paradise for people watchers and those who like to lounge in a great centre of cafe society - long sunlit hours in the many cafes with which the square is thronged are often among the most treasured memories visitors take away with them.

History

The square was laid out after Krakow gained its charter in 1257. As well as being the commercial hub of Krakow, it was the site of many state and historic occasions (not forgetting public executions). Homage to the Kings was sworn here (including the famous Prussian Homage, when the Teutonic Knights accepted the Polish Kings as their overlords). Kosciuszko raised the standard of revolt here in 1794 and his solemn oath of freedom was repeated on the same spot by Lech Walesa in 1981.

Tags: history, culture, atmosphere, architecture, atm, restaurant, exchange office, bank, monument, cafe, Market Square, medieval, leisure, church, hejnal, nightlife
  • Latest modification: September 27, 2013 2:19:15 PM
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