26/07 - 31/07/2016


The Cloth Hall

The Cloth Hall

The Cloth Hall is one of the most iconic places on the map of Krakow's monuments. Few people know that it is considered the oldest shopping center in Poland! In the past, it was filled with rows of stalls where cloth was sold. Now the stalls are filled with hand-made products and typical gifts from Krakow. Girls can buy bursztyn, or jewellery made from amber, and boys can buy swords and pieces of knight’s armour. Exhibits of the Gallery of 19th century Polish Art can be seen here as well.

While walking around the hall, trying to look at the heads of odd-looking creatures, it is good to know that, unlike the stone monument of today, the first Cloth Hall was established in 13th century. It wasn’t until a century later that it was replaced by a brick building, which was destroyed in 1555 during a great fire in the city. The renovation, which finished 4 years later, gave the Cloth Hall a Renaissance style, which is something to enjoy even today.

For keen observers, while passing through the alleyways situated on the shorter axis of the building, you will notice a big, iron knife that hangs on a rope. Legend has it that one of the two brothers who built St. Mary’s Church, when realizing that the tower built by his brother was taller than his, he killed him with this knife. Eventually, remorse forced him to commit suicide by jumping from his tower.

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