Cloth Hall at Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland

The 350 foot long Cloth Hall historically and physically dominates Main Market Square. Imagine you were struggling to make a living in the mid-13th century after the brutal Mongol invasion. You heralded the building of Main Market Square and the first rustic version of trading stalls. A century later, the trading hall was greatly enlarged. As a traveling Asian spice merchant during the Polish Golden Age (late 15th century to mid-16th century), you conducted a flurry of business at Cloth Hall in exchange for local textiles and salt. In horror, you watched as Sukiennice was consumed by fire in 1555. It rose from the ashes with a grand Renaissance style. The next three hundred years saw a cycle of decline and renovation. By 1879, Cloth Hall had the existing appearance with the colonnades. It was restored again in 2010. Today, Cloth Hall is the place to shop for Polish merchandise, crafts and souvenirs displayed in an array of merchant stalls. Afterwards, sip coffee at Cafe Szał with a great view of Main Market Square.

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Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1/3, 31-042 Kraków, Poland

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