The Town Hall Tower

Rynek Główny, Kraków

The model presents what the Town Hall Tower – one of the most important public buildings in the city, situated on the western side of the Cloth Hall – looked like in the 18th century. Constructed in the 14th century, the building was later repeatedly reconstructed and expanded. In the 18th century, it was still a conglomerate of a number of adjacent buildings.

A hundred years later, it fell into disrepair and was torn down. Yet this time it does not show where the model is situated vis-à-vis the Town Hall Tower, as in the 18th century its place was occupied by the building of the Town Hall. Originally, the tower was crowned with a Gothic spire, which was replaced by a baroque dome after being consumed in a fire in the 17th century. Situated below it, on each side of the tower are 17th-century clock faces (today controlled electronically), which in the model are frozen at 11:55. The buildings adjacent to the 70-m (230-feet) tall tower housed the city granary, crowned with a parapet wall: a decorative element, hiding away the gable roof. Sticking out from above the granary walls are the roof gutters known as spewters. The cellars of the building housed a prison, torture chamber, and the Piwnica Świdnicka beer cellar, whose name refers to the delicious beers imported from Świdnica sold here by city councillors.

Appended to the southern wall in the 19th century was a small classicist guardhouse known as odwach: the station of military police and an army prison, with a characteristic arcaded portico. Prisoners were executed in the inner, irregularly shaped courtyard between the Town Hall and the guardhouse, which was demolished in 1946.

Today the Town Hall Tower houses a branch of the Historical Museum of Kraków (MHK) presenting here the history of the municipality and its authorities, while the cellars (entrance from the side of the non-extant guardhouse) house one of the stages of the Ludowy Theatre and a café.


The Town Hall Tower (mp3)

Date: 2013-06-17 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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