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Town Hall Tower, Krakow

(2.8/5 based on 260+ reviews on the web)
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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TripAdvisor
  • Tower-the former Town Hall of the city of Krakow is without a doubt one of the most important symbols of the city. Beautiful and impressive building with statues of Lions in front of the entrance, that if you look at, are different from each other. One sleeps, while the second has opened eyes and baring teeth.
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  • Great views from the top of the tower. Climb is steep and narrow, not fit for someone with mobility or balance issues! There is a small admission fee to get to the top, I think around 10zl if I rememb...  more »
  • Was expecting that this would not be open in March but it was. the view from the top of the Market Square and surrounding area is good. If I had to choose the virew from the Tower at St Mary's Basilic...  more »