Krakow's Cloth Hall, the Renaissance monument of commerce
The world's arguably oldest shopping
mall has been in business in the middle of Krakow's
central Grand Square (Rynek Glowny)
for 700 years. Circa 1300 a roof was put over two rows of
stalls to form the first Sukiennice building
Cloth Hall – where the textile trade
used to go on. It was extended into an imposing Gothic
structure 108 meter long and eight meter wide in the second
half of the 14th century.
Refurbishment of Krakow's Cloth Hall
After the 1555 fire the Cloth Hall was rebuilt as a splendid
Renaissance edifice with an ornate roof adorned with
grotesque masks by Santi Gucci. Also the picturesque stairs
and galleries on both ends of the building date from the
During the 1875-1879 refurbishment the outside arcades and
central transepts were added.
Krakow National Museum's Gallery
of the 19th Century Polish Art in
the Cloth Hall (upstairs).
Shopping center and art gallery
Nowadays stalls on the ground floor and
shops in the arcades mostly sell assorted
Upstairs, since the 1880s the Krakow National Museum has exhibited its
unparalleled collection of the 19-century Polish art,
including Jan Matejko's famous movie-like giant
One of two Cloth Hall's spacious cafes, the Noworolski’s on
the east side, has been opened since 1910 when it got its
present elegant Art Nouveau decor.
The third cafe is situated upstairs on the premises of the
National Museum in Krakow. It's smaller but it boasts a roof
terrace overlooking the most scenic part of the Old Town's
market takes place in the front of the Cloth Hall every
landmarks of the Old Town central historical district
Wawel Royal Castle
Home to Poland's three dynasties, its fine halls and
chambers feature old art, ancient furniture and stunning curios.
Poland's national shrine is a mausoleum of the Polish
royalty filled with superb church art and marvels such as the
Zygmunt giant bell of 1520.
Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
The huge Gothic church of the 13th century can boast
excellent church art including Veit Stoss' famous altarpiece, the
world's greatest Gothic sculpture.
Town Hall Tower
The 15th-century masterpiece of medieval
Copernicus studied in the Krakow university's splendid
Grand College of the 15th century .