Medieval market square - Wroclaw Market sqare
Wroclaw Market Square is an amazing place that has always been full of life. In the Middle Ages there was a main commercial square. Currently, the market in Wroclaw has slightly changed its original function, because there are no more folding stalls and an shouting crowd of traders. However, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that offer visitors the best specialties from around the world at any time of the day or night!
Other functions of the Wroclaw Market sqare
The market in Wrocław does not only have an entertainment function. It is in the Wrocław market that the City Council and the President have their headquarters. What’s more, the Wrocław market is a meeting place for the residents of Wrocław. Concerts and festivals take place on the Wrocław market. One of the most interesting events that takes place here every year is the Christmas Market
Information in a nutshell - Wroclaw Market sqare
Before you visit the market in Wroclaw market square, it is worth reading a few facts about it that are relevant. Here is some information in a nutshell that will help you better understand how an important place is the Market Square in Wroclaw
- One of the largest markets in Europe
- 3 largest market in Poland
- It has almost 3.8 ha of land
- Designed and built in accordance with the “Magdemurg Law”
- The town hall tower is over 66 m high
- There are 11 streets to the Market Square in Wrocław
Access to the Wroclaw Market sqare
Wroclaw Market Square is a beautiful place, and as everyone knows, beautiful places are not easy to reach, especially by car. Knowing the problems faced by guests visiting Rynek Wrocław, we have prepared for you a list of parking lots near the market in which you can safely leave your car. We recommend using our Batogospot Tumski car park for 25 PLN / day.
If you do not use the full-day parking lot, you can park in one of the side streets. However, when choosing such a solution, it should be remembered that most of them are unidirectional, which creates huge traffic jams. You can lose more time parking than driving to the market. That is why it is good to consider other means of transport.
It is also worth remembering that Wrocław is divided into 3 parking zones, the most expensive is located around the Market Square in Wrocław, but the fees are charged only for parking from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 18:00. City parking is free on weekends!
What you must see - Wroclaw Market sqare
A walk around the Wrocław market can take 15 minutes or an hour. But if you go there, it is worth paying attention to a few important monuments that you will see every step. Rynek Wrocław is a truly unique place, which is worth spending some time on. Here are the most important places to see.
- Old Town Hall
- New Town Hall
- Museum of Bourgeois art Hall
- Swidnicka cellar
- Bear Monument
- Potter’s Passage
- Fredro monument
- Coat of arms of Wroclaw
- “Zdrój” fountain
- Gnomes on the market
- “Feniks” Department Store
- Tenement houses on the
- Wroclaw Market Square
- jaś and małgosia
- Salt Square
Historic Tenements - Wroclaw Market sqare
Town Hall - Market Square Wrocław
It can be said that the Wrocław Town Hall consists of two buildings. The first is the Old Town Hall in Wroclaw. It is a beautiful Gothic building that is located in the eastern part of the market. The building was built in the late Gothic style. It is known that this building already existed before 1299. Because it is from this period that the first information about its expansion and connection with the New Town Hall comes from the southern side of the market.
The New Town Hall in Wrocław was built at the beginning of the 13th century. Since then, it has been the seat of the city authorities, but the building that we can admire in its present form was only built in the 19th century. Over the centuries, the Town Hall building has been rebuilt several times. An interesting fact is that it has always been connected by an underground corridor with Piwnica Świdnicka – the oldest restaurant in Europe. The town hall is also connected with the cloth hall, formerly a merchant building, now the seat of the Mayor of the City.
Old Town Hall clock tower - Wroclaw Market sqare
Cloth Hall - Wroclaw Market sqare
Świdnicka Celler - Wroclaw Market Sqere
Few people know that the oldest restaurant in Europe is located in Wroclaw. This is the Świdnicka basement. The restaurant is connected directly to the oldest part of the town hall. In the basement of this building, as early as in the 12th century, there was a storeroom with beer and wine. Beer was transported through a hidden tunnel under the market square directly to the restaurant. Today it is a unique tourist attraction. Being nearby should pay attention to the sculptures on the facade of the building. A drunken husband returning home and waiting for him on the other side of the wife with a raised roller in his hand.
Fredro Monument - Wroclaw Market Square
In the 1950s, Wrocław residents honored the great writer with a monument. However, the monument went there from the ruined Lviv. Earlier, a monument to the Austrian general stood here, which was removed in 1949. There are 2 interesting things connected with the monument. the first is that it is very difficult to meet a writer holding a pen in his hand. It was repeatedly stolen by street jesters. Another curiosity, or rather a tradition, is the Polonez dance for Fredro. Dance is performed by high school graduates and is a kind of superstition, people who take part in it have good results during the secondary school-leaving examination. The Wrocław Market is particularly conducive to such events.
Passing by the Fredro monument it is worth taking a few steps towards the Cloth Hall. This is where the coat of arms of Wrocław is located. It is a must-have place for all trips. It was arranged with different species and shades of granite. It is in Lower Silesia, whose capital is Wrocław, that one of the largest deposits of this material in Europe occurs. This does not affect the appearance of the streets in the city. Standing over the coat of arms, it’s worth remembering its importance for the history of Wrocław
In the upper left corner there is a Czech lion in the crown. It reminds of the Czech governments in this city, as well as the location of Wrocław, which is the capital of historic Silesia. The division into Lower and Upper Silesia was introduced artificially only after the end of World War I and the change of borders. Beside the lion, in the upper right corner is the Silesian Eagle. It was borrowed from the Piast dynasty, coat of arms, who were the first to rule this city, their headquarters was located in Ostrów Tumski, in the oldest part of the city.
The letter W in the lower left corner comes from the historical name of the city – Vratislavia. Below we can see the image of John the Evangelist. However, in the central part of the coat of arms is the head of John the Baptist. Patron of the Wroclaw Cathedral and Episcopate, which contributed to the city’s development.
Fountain - Zdrój - Wroclaw Market sqare
The name of the fountain comes from the name of the then president of the city – “Zdrojewski”. It was he who ordered that a fountain be built here. In the Middle Ages there was a city weight in this place. Merchants entering the city who wanted to trade their goods had to pay the appropriate tax to the city council. The weight was used to determine the amount of tax.
One of the local flavors that tell about the city’s history and show how really it is are Wroclaw’s Dwarfs. Where did they come from? There are several theories on this topic, but let’s not delve into history. The fact is that the chancelleries are a unique tourist attraction for Wrocław. The oldest ones are located on the Wroclaw market square. Every important place worth visiting has its own gnome.
A trip in search of gnomes is also a great form of visiting the city with young children, for whom this form of entertainment will make exploring the city boring. Maps with gnomes on the Wroclaw market can be bought at any good Suvenir store, and there are quite a few around the market
History - Wroclaw Market Square
Tenements around the market square in Wroclaw
There are many historic tenement houses around the Market Square in Wrocław. There are a few special ones that deserve special attention. Tenements are named after decorations on their facades. Because tenements were built at different times, their owners were more or less wealthy, so together they are a beautiful colorful mosaic of different tastes and architectural styles.
Jaś i Małgosia
These are probably the two most famous tenements on the Wroclaw market. One is bigger, the other smaller, just like Hansel and Gretel. Earlier, they were the economic base for altarists, i.e. the guardians of the temple and cemetery in the Garrison church. These are the only surviving buildings of this complex.
Beginnings of administration in Wrocław
As you read earlier in the Middle Ages, at the time when the Market Square was created in Wrocław, there was no administration yet. Tenements around the market square did not yet have addresses, streets were named after places that were there, e.g. Rzeznicza, Więzienna, Kuźnicza, Kurzy Targ. So how were so many tenements managed in one place? Well, nothing simpler with the help of images on the facades. This is where some interesting places came from. Here are the most interesting of them:
- Under the golden sun
- jaś and małgosia
- Under the golden dog
- Under the Griffins
- Under the Golden Crown
- Under golden Maria
- Under the golden pitcher
- Under the Golden Eagle
A beautiful view of tenement houses is ruined by one modernist building designed by Henri Rump. In its glory days it was supposed to present the modernist thought of Wrocław. Today does not encourage view. However, there is a curiosity associated with this building. Inside is the oldest elevator in Poland, which dates from the 19th century.
It is a place that was established in the place of medieval potters’ stalls. For many years the place did not have its name, it was given only by the Polish administration in 1948. One of the tenement houses houses the Prose literary club. It is a meeting place for Wrocław writers.
It used to be a separate square, today it is part of the complex that is Rynek Wrocław. The square got its name from the fact that in the Middle Ages salt was traded there, which was very expensive and desirable at that time. Today they trade flowers there. This is the only place in Wroclaw, and maybe even in Poland, where you can buy Flowers at any time of the day or night. It is also a great opportunity to take your chosen heart to this place. It is interesting that under the square there is an atomic shelter, which has recently been arranged as a museum of world cinema.
Pillory - Market Square in Wrocław
Today it is a meeting place, especially for guided tours. Formerly it was a place of execution and enforcement of justice by the court, which was located in the Old Town Hall. Wroclaw from the eleventh century had a city kata, which carried out executions in this place. The last public execution at this place took place here in the mid-eighteenth century. And the punishment of public flogging at the end of the nineteenth century, so relatively recently. Cheaters and criminals were brought to the pillory to show them to the whole city. The one standing in Wrocław is a copy of the Pillory from 1492. It is made of sandstone, by the famous Saxon sculptor Preussey
The sculpture did not appear on the Wrocław market square until the beginning of the 20th century. Its author is the Berlin sculptor Ernst Moritz. One and a half meter sculpture near the town hall is slightly over 150 cm tall and weighs over 300 kg. It was the first fountain on the Wrocław market. There are many legends around the bear cub where it came from on the Market Square in Wroclaw, one thing is certain, it is a unique Tourist attraction that you must see.
Feniks Department Store - Wroclaw Market sqare
It is the oldest department store in Wroclaw, which functions in an unchanged form until today, you can get everything from grocery shopping through numismatic items and tableware. DH Feniks was built in 1902 by the Barash brothers. After the war, there was a universal consumer cooperative, i.e. the socialist counterpart of the market. The building catches the eye of tourists due to its unique architecture.
Interesting facts - Wroclaw Market sqare
Since the Middle Ages, the ground level in Wroclaw has risen by about 2 meters, all tenements were built a whole floor below. Piwnica Świdnicka is the oldest restaurant in Europe. The marketsquare was destroyed during the war
Until the 1990s, a gas station was located on the Wrocław market square
There is a ban on cycling on the Wrocław market, despite the fact that a bike path runs through the market square and there is a city bike rental station, the city guard scrupulously issues fines
The building which currently houses the headquarters of the Santander Bank is the oldest elevator in Poland
Restaurants - Wroclaw Market sqare
There are hundreds of restaurants around the Wrocław Market Square, each of them has its own specialty and it’s impossible to visit everyone. Gourmets of all cuisines of the world will find something for themselves. There are several really good restaurants that we described in a separate article. However, for travelers who do not need luxuries and want to experience the real taste of Wrocław, there is a special Bar – Bar at Witek’s. They make the best toasts in the world. The bar has been functioning here for over half a century. The name comes from the street on which it is located.
Toilets - Wroclaw Market sqare
Finding a Toilet on the Wroclaw Market Square may seem problematic, but in reality there is nothing difficult about it. Toilets are located in every restaurant on the Wroclaw market. Usually it costs PLN 2 for using this service, and it is free for restaurant guests. A good solution is to take a coffee break and something else. An interesting fact are the city toilets operating on Solny Square. Toilets have been operating unchanged since the PRL, there are separate rates for standing and sitting places.