The Market Square of Krakow is the heart of the Old city, all roads conduct exactly here. It is impossible to visit Krakow and not to visit the Rynek Główny therefore many tourists begin getting to know the city exactly with the Main Market Square. It is considered that the Market in Krakow is one of the biggest shopping floor spaces in Europe. The market square designed at the beginning of the XIII century remained in full splendor to the present day and although there are always a lot of tourists here, the Square fascinated us this is the place where you wish to return.
The Main Market in Krakow Old Town
Across the area there are the medieval houses, constructed in the XIV-XV centuries, each of which is the sight, has the great history and its own name. So, for example, in the house № 9 (Kamienica Bonerowska - Boner House) the wedding of pseudo-Dmitry and Maria Mnishek took place in 1604 there. And in the house № 13 (Kamienica Pod Zlota Glowa - the House Under the Gold Head) the dynasty of the Krakow druggists lived there.
In the house № 28 “Pod Jagnieciem” (“Under the Lamb” - on the photo it is in the center) once the famous Italian sculptor Santi Gucci lived there. And to the left of it there is the house № 27 “Under the Sheeps” in which there is the well-known cabaret with the title of the same name opened in 1956. It is well-known for that famous modern Polish cultural figures like to gather in it. To the right of the house “Pod Jagnieciem” there is the house №29 “The house under the sheet”, it is the first house in Krakow the roof of which was covered by a sheet. This house has also other name - “aquarium”: Krakovians joke that it is the only shop in Poland where you can buy police officers. The fact is that the window in the commissariat of police on the Market Square is as large as a show-window. By the way, police officers is quite a few a lot on the Square they maintain order.
The pinkish house under the green roof carries the name “Under the Deer” because you can see the bas-relief with this animal on its facade. There is the house of Kamienica Wosińska (Łukinowska) followed by it built in the XVI century by association of two neighboring houses. And its neighbor appeared in the Main Market of Krakow even in the XIV century and carries the name Kamienica Kęcowska. Thus, each house front to the Square can make boast of the unique name and important guests.
In the house number 42 there is the hotel Bonerowski Palace and if you like to be located in the heart of Krakow, then it is for you - the windows of several rooms come to the Market Square and St.Mary's Basilica. Truly speaking, this pleasures it is not the cheapest, from $200 per day. On the photo, probably, one of the guests just makes an individual “excursion”.
The Town Hall in Krakow
The Town Hall in Krakow is one of the most beautiful buildings of the Market Square of Krakow. The seventy-meter tower is raised above the whole Market and from its viewing platform the Square looks, spread out before you. In detail about the Krakow the Town Hall in Krakow we already wrote the separate story, therefore we won't repeat.
St. Mary's Basilica in Old Town Krakow
The Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven is the central decoration of the Market Square in Krakow; this is the main relic of the medieval Krakow. The beautiful legend is connected with the St. Mary's Basilica. The construction of the church was managed at once by two families which were out in some conflict with each other. The construction lasted for many a year and demanded concerted efforts therefore householders came to the decision that their children have to get married. The family which had a son, rejoiced in advance, after all a husband-to-be is the head of the family, and so, their generation receives superiority. But the second family wasn't about to give easily way and offered the contract - children directed the construction of the towers separately from each other, and whose tower will be higher and better, that will be in the head of the family. The husband's relatives again rejoiced, then the construction is not the distaff, and they stand to win. After the wedding the young wife began to execute so heartily her connubial that by the morning the young husband didn't have forces. The wife was full of energy, as a result the construction of her tower moved ahead much quicker and more successfully - so the family of the wife won the argument. But during their family life the married couple sincerely fell in love with each other, so the question who in their family is the principal, didn't arise any more. 🙂
The height of the tallest tower of the St. Mary's Basilica is 81 meters. From it every morning the trumpeter announced about opening of the city gate, and in the evening - about its closing. The legend is also connected with the trumpeter. According to it, in the XV century the trumpeter noticed the first the enemy bearing down on the city walls and had a time to give a sign of danger. But at that moment he came to a tragic end, being floored by a Tatar arrow which runs out through his neck. In memory of the trumpeter, the melody sounds hour by hour on four parts of the world by turn over the city, unexpectedly breaking. The legend has a continuation according to which after the neck of the trumpeter was run out through by the arrow, Poland lost the independence. It was possible to return the freedom of the country only after the Polish trumpeter sounds the song from the highest minaret of Samarkand - the capital of the Mongolian and Turkish state. And here, in 1918, in Samarkand the Polander raised the minaret and sounded his song from start to finish. Soon thereafter the independence of Poland was restored. Well such one more beautiful legend connected with the St. Mary's Basilica.
About the St. Mary's Basilica we will certainly write a separate article in which we will tell in further detail what can you see inside, how to rise the viewing platform and what else legends surround this majestic building in Krakow.
The Adam Mickiewicz Monument and entrance to the undergrounds of Krakow
Near the St. Mary's Basilica there is the entrance to one of the most mysterious museums of Krakow - the Historical museum. It is unique that is in the underground, but, despite the considerable age, it is equipped up-to-date. Perhaps, it is one of the most interesting museums where we happened to visit, what is more it is a long way off boring. But about it we will tell in a separate article, differently our story about the Market Square of Krakow will pass into the three-volume book. Besides the entrance to the Krakow undergrounds, near the St. Mary's Basilica there is the monument to one of the most famous and esteemed Polanders - to Adam Mickiewicz. The great Polish poet towers on the high pedestal, it is impossible to miss it. The monument was constructed at the end of the XIX century and was opened in the day of the poet's century, just in the same year Mickiewicz's remains were reinterred in the Wawel castle. This is vantage ground for purpose of a meeting therefore here always there are a lot of people irrespective of time of day. Near the Adam Mickiewicz Monument there is a small fountain. It is not such unusual as, for example, the Wroclaw fountain, but the Krakovians love it.
Sukiennice - Cloth Hall Krakow
In the center of the Main market Krakow there is Cloth Hall or as it is called, Sukiennice. The first building of the strip malls appeared there as early as in 1300 by order of King Boleslaw the Chaste. But to our time it didn't remain, and the modern Sukiennice was constructed in the XIV century by King Kazimir the Great. The malls besides the first floor got the second on which the gallery of the Polish painting, as well as the rich assembly halls and festive events were placed.
At the present day, as well as six centuries ago, there is an active market in Sukiennice, but only the trade is not generally by cloth here, and by souvenirs suit any taste. Almost all Polish production is also presented here: jewelry of amber, national clothes, glass-wares, woodworks and much more.
On the second floor the branch of the National Museum Krakow was placed where the exposition devoted to the Polish art of the XIX century is presented.
The Church of St. Wojciech
Surely it is worth to turn attention to a small and imperceptible church in the southeast corner of the Main Market - The Church of St. Wojciech, the most important polish sacred. The church was constructed at the end of XI - the beginning of the XII centuries. In due course the part of the building got down underground therefore that small part that we can see; there is only its the upper circle.
As the legend has it, the church was constructed on that place where the known Polish sacred christened pagans when came to Boleslav the Brave.
Things to do on the Market Square in Krakow
If you don't want to visit the churches, the museums and the viewing platforms, but you want a holiday, in the Main Market Krakow it is possible to ride horses, sit in cafe, to communicate to living statues and just have a walk and even to join a free excursion.
The Main Market is such universal place in Krakow where everyone will find how to occupy himself. The prices in local cafes, of course, are a little higher, than elsewhere in the town but if you compare them with Moscow ones, they seem simply ridiculous. Generally, if you are in Krakow, surely visit the Main Market, without it the trip to this amazing Polish city will be not full.