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Market Place

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Today’s Cloth Hall in Krakow differs from the original building that was built eight centuries ago. It was already in 1257, that the polish King Boleslaw the Shy sponsored the construction of a lane in the middle of the market square. This street consisted of two rows of stone stalls and was the start of the cloth hall as it now stands.

In the mid-fourteenth century, King Casimir, the Great ordered the building of a brick hall, which in its shape resembled the cloth hall of today. However, this building was only partially covered by a roof. Unfortunately, in 1555 during a great fire in Krakow, a large part of this construction was destroyed. Reconstruction of the burnt cloth hall was led by a known architect, Pankracy. It was then that the building was crowned with a parapet, with its famous gargoyles, designed by Santi Gucci. The beautiful column loggias are in turn the work of another distinguished architect namely Jan Maria Padovano.

The Cloth Hall was again changed at the end of the nineteenth century. The person responsible for the last project was Tomasz Pryliński. It was his idea to create a lane of wooden stalls, placed by the outside walls. On the top of the facade, they also place a row of masks those were caricatures of different city presidents.

To this day, you can still see, well preserved and in good working order the gas lighting used within the cloth hall.

When you enter the cloth hall, you will see a stair way that leads up to the second floor where there is a permanent exhibition of Polish artwork and Sculptures from the nineteenth century.

In the second half of 2010, a museum was opened under the main market square. This underground museum is a branch of the Polish Historical Museum. It is situated under the Cloth Hall and is a very modern museum and has been classified as a unique experience even on a global scale. It presents exhibitions based on the archaeological findings around Krakow and tells us the story of the ancient city, using modern-day technology to make this an unforgettable experience.

Krakow is famous for its churches and the old town is home to many of these, only in the nearest vicinity of the Market Square, there are more than a dozen churches. They all represent different styles of architecture and artwork.

St. Mary's church is the largest church in Krakow, and the second most important after the Wawel Cathedral. It is a basilica church, assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is well-known for its beautiful Gothic arches, the two towers of unequal height, the bugle call on the hour every hour from the highest tower, but above all for the beautiful main Gothic altar, this is the work of Wit Stwosz, furthermore this church boasts magnificent stained glass works – by Mehoffer and Wyspiański.

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The church is open for visitors daily from 11.30 to 18.00 (the main altar from 11.50), Sunday opening hours from 14.00 to 18.00.

Tickets Prices:

  • Normal – 6.00zł
  • Pensioners - 4.00zł
  • Reduced - 3.00zł.



Visiting the tower of St. Mary's church is available from 1st of May to the 31st of September every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 9.00-11.30 and 13.00-17.30.

Ticket Prices:

  • adults - 5.00zł
  • children under 12 years - 3.00zł

Entrance from the side of Floriańska Street, every 20 minutes, in groups of 10.

Another very special church is Sts. Wojciech church. This is one of the smallest and oldest churches in the city. You will find it on the edge of the Market Square, at the beginning of Grodzka Street. The oldest parts of this church are from the eleventh century. We also know that, it was built in the place of a former religious temple. According to tradition this is where St. Wojciech preached.
Opening times on weekdays: winter from 9.00 to 17.00, Summer: from 9.00 to 18.00. Sundays: from 13.30 to 18.00. Admission is free.

The Church of Sts. Barbara is just a stone's throw away from St Mary's Church. It is believed that originally it was a cemetery chapel in the period when St. Mary's square served as the parish cemetery. In 1583, the building was handed to the Jesuits. The Church of Sts. Barbara is where a famous preacher Father Piotr Skarga was holding his sermons. Under the church rests Father Jakub Wujek, who was the first to translate the Bible into Polish. This church can be visited daily, except for the hours in which holly mass takes place.

Sts. Anna’s church is one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in Krakow. It is a University Church, where  the relics of St. Jan Kanty, patron of the Jagiellonian University are laid. In the place of the wooden church from the fourteenth century, a Gothic building was erected, which was funded by King Wladyslaw Jagiello. This was in the first half of the fifteenth century, and then the church was placed under the care of the Cracow Academy. In the second half of the seventeenth century, the church was destroyed by a fire and then rebuilt as we see it today, by Tylman from Gameren. The church can be visited daily, except for the hours in which services take place.

The Basilica of St. Francis from Asyż was founded by King Boleslaw the Shy. From the very beginning of its existence, it has been cared for by the monastery of the Franciscans. The church is located on the route from Market Square to Wawel Castle, by the All Saints Square (Plac Wszystkich Świętych). Inside you can admire the beautiful stained glass works by Wyspianski, polychromes by Matejko and Stations of the Cross, designed by Mehoffer. This is where Boleslaw the Shy was buried, as well as his sons and Bl. Salomea. The basilica is open daily from 6.00 am to 19.45. These are times when you can visit it. It must not be visited during holly mass.

Basilica of St. Trinity received its present shape after the great fire of Krakow. Although the church was severely damaged and almost completely destroyed, the Dominicans decided to rebuild it. The work lasted more than 30 years, tthe result being the present Gothic temple. The basilica is famous for its 10 beautiful chapels, including St. Jacka chapel. This is where the relics of the Saint are located, and it belongs to the greatest works of Baroque art, not only in Cracow, but throughout the country. Among the other chapels, we have:The Chapel of the Rosary, Lubomirski Family Chapel, the Savior’s Chapel and St. Dominic’s Chapel to name a few. Like other churches, the Basilica of St. Trinity can be visited daily, with the exception of service's hours.

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Collegium Maius is the oldest building of the Jagiellonian University, which dates back to 1400. In 1400, King Władysław Jagiellończyk bought a corner tenement house that with time became a base for the present building. The buildings were systematically increased, mainly by buying neighboring buildings, which were all joined together in the late fifteenth century. On the ground floor of the Collegium Maius were the classrooms, and on the second floor where recreation rooms, libraries and the professor’s living area. In the mid-nineteenth century, Collegium was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style. The purpose of this reconstruction was to adapt the building for the Jagiellonian Library. After 1940, the institution was moved to a new location, and the building returned to its previous style. Then it was decided to create the Museum of Jagiellonian University here. The most valuable exhibit of the museum is Copernicus astronomical instruments, including an Arabic navigation device - the astrolabe, dated 1054r. Of particular interest is the Jagiellonian Globe, one of the oldest globes where the name for America is displayed.

Opening hours:

  • Mondays: 10.00 - 14.20 (last admission)
  • Tuesdays: 10.00 - 15.20 (last admission) - from 1.IV to 31.X last admission at 17.20
  • Wednesdays: 10.00 - 14.20 (last admission)
  • Thursdays: 10.00 - 14.20 (last admission) - from 1.IV to 31.X last admission at 17.20
  • Fridays: 10.00 - 14.20 (last admission)
  • Saturday: 10.00 - 14.40 (last admission), free entry
  • Sundays and holidays: CLOSED

 

Entrance to the courtyard of Collegium Maius is free every day until dusk.

Ticket prices range from 7zł to 16zł per adult ticket depending on the selected exhibition.

Of considerable interest is the newly opened exhibition "The World of Senses", which is a hands-on form of education through experimentation. Over 30 positions help to understand the functioning of the senses, their roles in our lives and points of interest associated with their operations.

 

 

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