Town Hall Tower, Krakow

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#98 of 619 in Things to do in Krakow
Town Hall Tower in Kraków, Poland (Wieża ratuszowa w Krakowie) is one of the main focal points of the Main Market Square in the Old Town district of Kraków.The Tower is the only remaining part of the old Kraków Town Hall (Ratusz, see painting, below) demolished in 1820 as part of the city plan to open up the Main Square. Its cellars once housed a city prison with a Medieval torture chamber.HistoryBuilt of stone and brick at the end of the 13th century, the massive Gothic tower of the early Town Hall stands 70 metres tall and leans just 55 centimetres, the result of a storm in 1703. The top floor of the tower with an observation deck is open to visitors.The original Gothic helmet adorning the tower was consumed by fire caused by a lightning in 1680. The ensuing reconstruction of the tower took place between 1683 and 1686. The work was directed by the royal architect Piotr Beber, who designed the new and imposing Baroque helmet, which survived only until 1783. At that time, the helmet began to crumble, and was replaced by a smaller structure (right) sponsored by Archbishop Kajetan Sołtyk.The entrance to the tower is guarded by a pair of stone lions carved at the beginning of the 19th century. They were brought to Kraków from the Classicist palace of the Morstin family in Pławowice during the renovations of 1961–1965, during which the bay windows on the second floor of the tower were incorrectly reconstructed by a local TV personality, architect Wiktor Zin. Over the entrance is the original Gothic portal with the city coat-of-arms and the emblem of Poland. For many years the basement beneath the tower has been used as the performance space called the Stage beneath the Town Hall of the renowned Teatr Ludowy.
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Town Hall Tower Reviews
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  • Another nice building in Krakow. And specifically talking about the Town Hall. Located in the main square and is well worth a visit. Thanos-Roula 13/1/2018
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  • Went at the end of feb, was closed, sign on the front of the door said that it would reopen in March. Went back a few days later (in march), staff were inside but told us that it was not open until 7t...  more »
  • Due to my broken leg, I couldn't climb the steep stairs to the upper floors, but was intrigued by the "house marks" left by early builders, as I had never heard of them before. Craftsmen etched them i...  more »
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  • Cheapish to enter, walk up some tricky steps and get to see 3 sides view over old town and beyond. Not recommended if you're unstable on your feet and tall. But of history, although not much, and I guess when in town.....
  • Great view from the top of the tower. Steep steps but a short climb. You can't get out at the top but the views are still worth the climb. Would recommend it.
  • Great place to roam around even when you have nothing to do. Good food and drinks at reasonable price on beautiful street cafes and restaurant. At the centre you can buy souvenirs but at a little higher price than other places. In the evening you will find many street performers, Music, dance, acrobatics etc.
  • A little difficult to find but well worth it. There are interactive screens all over to educate you about what you're looking at. I found the nuts and bolts of how trading was conducted and how blacksmiths plied their trade the most fascinating parts.
  • Nice from the outside, never been inside
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