Poland // Southern Poland //

The Market Square

The largest square in medieval Europe, the Market Square (Rynek Główny) is now a broad expanse with the vast Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) at its centre, ringed by magnificent houses and towering spires. Originally a collection of outdoor market stalls, the Cloth Hall was first built in 1300 and reconstructed during the Renaissance, and still houses a bustling covered market. To its south is the tiny copper-domed St Adalbert’s, the first church to be founded in Kraków. On the east side is the Gothic St Mary’s Church (Mon–Sat 11.30am–6pm, Sun 2–6pm; 6zł), the taller of its two towers, which you can climb during the summer months (May–Aug Tues, Thurs & Sat 9–11.30am & 1–5.30pm; 5zł), topped by an amazing ensemble of spires. Inside is the stunningly realistic triptych high altar (1477–89), an intricate wood-carving depicting the Virgin Mary’s Quietus among the apostles.