The Cracow Gate in Lublin
The Cracow Gate (Brama Krakowska) was built as a part of a fortification system (the walls surrounding the city) during the reign of King Casimir the Great, following a Tatar attack in 1341. It is an architectural symbol of the city. It serves as a passage between the Old Town and the Downtown. At present, it serves as a Lublin History Museum. The name of the Gate derives from a royal road running from Lublin to the then capital of Poland – Cracow. The road would run through that Gate. It was also known as the Higher Gate, as opposed to the Grodzka Gate, located in the lower part of the city.
The Cracow Gate was considered the most elegant element of the Old Town, therefore, royal and parliamentary entourage would enter the city through this Gate. The present appearance of the Gate combines features of a number of architectural styles. The oldest part of the Gate (Gothic style) was built using limestone and bricks arranged in checker pattern on the outside walls. The 15th century two-storey extension is easy to spot, as the overburned (thin) bricks have been arranged in an oblique strip pattern. In order to increase the defensive capabilities of the Gate, in the first half of the 16th century it was extended with a fore-gate with steepled crenels. Brick elements and the shape of portholes are a proof of that. A drawbridge stretching over a moat (from the Lokietek Square) was also used for defensive purposes. At dusk, the Gate was closed with iron bars (a portcullis). The octagonal part of the Gate was probably built in the 16th century. The Baroque cupola with a monogram “SAR” (Stanislaus Augustus Rex) and a date – 1782 – shows the next stage of the Gate extension, supervised by Dominik Merlini, the architect in ordinary to Stanislaw II August Poniatowski, King of Poland.
Address: 3 Lokietka Square