Rynek Glowny is the central Grand Square of Krakow and is also popular by the name Main Market Square. It has been the city’s busiest place, probably due to the interesting grid-like streets that attract locals and tourists alike. The historic Main Market Square was structured in 1257 and the design was inspired by a castrum or Roman military camp. Encompassing a huge 10-acre square, Main Market Square is the largest among all of Europe’s medieval cities and no doubt the most beautiful among all the squares in the world.
As the name suggests, commerce was the main purpose why the Main Market Square was founded. In addition to witnessing the city’s early trading industry, Main Market Square also had the privilege to observe historical happenings, such as the Royal Road’s regal ceremonies participated by dignitaries and diplomats going to the Wawel Castle. The Main Market Square served as a venue for victory parades, as well as the public execution of prisoners.
Because of commerce and trade, it housed from centuries ago, Main Market Square can be aptly called the first shopping mall in the world. But more than just a place for merchants and buyers, the square also served as an iconic structure due to the perfect architecture it owns. The chief landmarks of the Main Market Square comprise of the 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall at the center that was used for trading fabric and cloth, the 13th-century Gothic Town Hall Tower, and the awe-inspiring 14th-century Basilica of the Virgin Mary alongside its grandiose Great Altar. The buildings that stand in all the corners of the Main Market Square have a historical appeal attached to it, and the beauty equally possessed by each is a virtue that cannot be denied.
UNESCO includes Main Square as part of the Old Town Kraków and in 1978, it joined the prestigious list of World Heritage Sites. Because the square exudes such breath-taking appeal, it received recognition from the Project for Public Spaces in 2005 as the World’s Best Square. The city of Krakow is synonymous with the rich culture and colorful traditions and up to this day, the Main Square serves as a venue for lively festivals. Annually, the Kraków szopka Festival is held in the Main Square, as well as Military Bands Festival and Poland’s Largest New Year’s Eve Celebration.
When you visit Poland and go to the city of Krakow, you surely won’t dare miss the Main Market Square experience. Not only you witness the beauty of the world’s largest plaza, but you also get to enjoy the sights that define the modern-day Main Market Square. The surroundings are colorful and lively courtesy of the cafes, restaurants, gift shops, and galleries that line in its walkways.
You tour its entirety either by walking or do the traditional way of adorning the attraction through a horse and carriage ride. Come in the morning to appreciate the majestic architecture of each of the buildings and stay up to the night to partake in the lively and upbeat nightlife. Whether you are in the Main Market Square to start or to end a Krakow trip, visiting this historic, stunning square makes the memories of Krakow trip worth keeping.