The Cloth Halls of Krakow are a long building in the middle of the world-famous market square of Krakow. They divide the largest square in Europe (about 200 by 200 meters) into two roughly equal parts. However, you can pass through the long hall in several places to get to the other side of the main market (Polish: Rynek Główny).
Cloth halls were originally used to sell cloth, hence the name of the long hall. In the 16th century the building burned down during a big fire. After that, the current hall were built in the Renaissance style. The Cloth Hall of Krakow is one of the most beautiful and famous buildings in the Renaissance style in the whole Europe.
The Cloth Halls in the present form date back to the 2nd half of the 16th century. They were later rebuilt around 1875. Inside there were stores then as now. Today, however, hardly any cloths are sold, but small stores sell souvenirs and the like. The Cloth Halls stand on the 200 by 200 meter Market Square, the center of the city and tourism in the most visited city in Poland. Thousands of tourists come to the Cloth Halls every day. Hardly any visitor to Krakow does not go to the Renaissance building.
The prices in the cloth halls are not totally overpriced, but still rather high. In addition to souvenirs, there are, for example, clothing and jewelry. You can also find cafes in and around the halls on the main square of Krakow.
In the middle there is a passageway, which was built in 1601. One should also look at the arcades around the building. On the square around the halls are many restaurants and cafes. The most important building here is the famous St. Mary’s Church.
In the basement of the Krakow Cloth Halls is since 2010 in museum. It shows the history of the largest marketplace in Europe and the cloth halls. Large, modern museum, worth seeing. Admission about 5 euros. Our article about the Underground Museum
In Polish the cloth halls are called Sukiennice, in English Cloth Hall.