Old Market in Bydgoszcz
The Old Market is the central point of the city that was established at the order of King Casmir the Great in 1346. Until the end of the 18th c. the market was situated on an island. The old times are also reflected by the Brda River that is just a 100 metres away from the Old Market and its arm – the Mlynowka. For centuries the central square of the city has always been full of life: at some point it concentrated the trade of the whole region, while today until late at night it is a venue of the cultural life of the biggest city in the region.
The majority of tourists as well as Bydgoszcz inhabitants enter the Old Market from the direction of Mostowa Street. From this perspective the first building that draws their attention is the edifice of the Regional and Municipal Public Library. It was built in the years 1774-1778 in Baroque-Classicist style and houses in its interiors many antique books: mid-fifteenth-century sermons, nine fifteenth-century editions of the Bible and the world’s only preserved copy of a work in its entirety by Girolamo Savonarola, published in 1480 in Florence. An excellent way to get to know local artists: painters, writers, poets and musicians is to visit the artists’ cafe “Wegliszek” that is located at the corner of the market and Batorego Street. It is here that the local bohemians organize poetry nights and concerts, which with a bit of luck you can possibly join. Another interesting spot in the Old Market, mainly due to its photogenic character, is the stone well – fountain presenting ”Children playing with a goose”. The fountain by Karol Kowalczewski was funded by the family of pharmacists – Kupffenders. The sculpture was unveiled in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of the Pharmacy “Under the Golden Eagle”.