Rynek Główny Kraków
The Main Square, Krakow
The Main Square of the city, the centre of life and trade, and above all the symbol of Krakow, was laid out in 1257. It was created at the intersection of trade routes and was impressive. Built on a square plan (200 meters by 200 meters), with three streets extending from each of its frontages, it was supposed to implement the checkered structure of the city. Although the proposed symmetry was slightly disturbed, it was considered a harmonious and fairly regular work. All the objects that appeared with time on the square were less arranged; stalls, the salt market, the chicken or fish market. The chaos was to be overcome by the Cloth Hall, the first supermarket in Krakow, where trade was to take place. It was 1882, when the square gained its present name – the Main Square and became the pride of Krakow's inhabitants. The most important ceremonies that took place here testify to how important of a place it was; here, in 1525, the prince of Prussia paid homage to king Zygmunt Stary, here Tadeusz Kościuszko started the Kościuszko Uprising by taking his oath, here great political demonstrations, protests and peaceful marches took place.The market square is surrounded by historic tenement houses with galleries, restaurants and delicatessens. The silhouette of St. Mary's Basilica towers over the slab, and there is a theatre in the basement of the Town Hall. Whoever wants to, can visit the Galleries of 19th century Polish Art in the Cloth Hall, or see the Main Square from a lesser known side by going down into the underground of the square to see what it looked like in the Middle Ages.