Poznań – old market houses

History

The square of the Old Town was laid out around 1253. Each of the fronts was originally divided into 16 equal plots, and in the central part of the market there was a town hall, a weight house, a clothhall, bread benches and stalls. Brick buildings began to replace wooden from the 14th century. The pace of erecting increased after the great fire in 1471. In the first half of the 15th century, south of the town hall, a group of three and four-storey narrow tenements was erected. These market houses, or what was originally called – the herring houses, unlike the patriarch’s tenement houses in the market, belonged to some poorer merchants. In their arcades they were once traded with fish, candles, torches and salt. At the beginning of the 16th century some of them received brick arcades, and in 1534 the city authorities agreed to built arcades for all buildings. Over time the arcades were walled to create small shops. Townhouses were almost completely destroyed during World War II. After the war, the arcades were reconstructed using original, renaissance details.

Architecture

The old market square in Poznań is a square with a side of about 140 meters. From each side there are three streets, between which there are 8 long and narrow building plots. Two and three-bay townhouses were built on the market, usually two-storey, with the gables and facades turned to the market. On the ground floor of the buildings, from the front were the so-called great halls, a large representative and service rooms. On the floors were dwelling rooms. In the backyards of the front tenement houses, separated by a small yard, warehouses and workshops were located.

Current state

Due to the history of this place, most of the houses and buildings located here have been rebuilt, restored or modernized. Worst of all action took place during World War II, where most of the buildings were destroyed. However, some of the tenement houses have retained original gothic cellars or fragments of walls now hidden under later redevelopments, and some have been reconstructed in reference to the original appearance.

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bibliography:
Website poznan.pl, Zabytki Starego Rynku.