Old Market Square in Poznan

The central square of the city established in 1253 on the left bank of the Warta River was designed on the base of a square with four 141 – metre sides. In terms of size, the square is the third biggest in Poland, losing only to the squares in Krakow and Wroclaw. Each side of the square has three streets running out of it, dividing its sides into two sections with eight 35-43 metre long, 7-8 metre wide plots. The square was to be built up with administrative and commercial edifices. Soon after the creation of the city, the town hall, the Municipal Scales and market stalls were built.

Originally the structures built both in and around the square were made of wood. However, as soon as in the end of the 13th century brick buildings began to appear: the Municipal Scales, the Gothic town hall, and in the 14th century the cloth hall. In the first half of the 16th century a complex of small houses, called the merchants’ houses, was built by the merchants who owned the individual plots. After 1945 the Old Market Square lost its predominantly commercial character, becoming instead a residential area with many cultural institutions. Some of the shops on the ground floor were kept, often to sell souvenirs. In the 1970’s many fashionable bars, cafes and restaurants were opened. After 1990 the square saw the arrival of offices of several banks and even more eateries. Every June the square is home to a lively street fair (Jarmark Swietojanski), and throughout the summer it features many cultural events including some performances of Malta Theatre Festival. In the summer months many bars set up beer gardens in the square, where you can drink as much coffee or beer as you want and make yourself familiar with Polish cuisine. There is never-ending party on the square.

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