The Wroclaw Market Square covers almost 3.8 hectare and is included among the largest old market sites in Poland (larger market squares are located in Krakow and Olecko only). But the late Gothic City Hall with its 66-metre tower is the grandest building of this type in the country. In its nether regions there is Piwnica Świdnicka, one of the oldest restaurants in Europe.
In the 19th century a New City Hall was built and nowadays it houses the city council meeting room and office of the President of Wroclaw. The City Museum has its branch in the old City Hall.
The Market Square is surrounded by townhouses funded by Wroclaw patricians. In a style distinct from the other buildings at the Market Square, there is an original building - a modernistic tower block designed by Heinrich Rump and constructed in 1930.
After World War II the Market Square has undergone several metamorphoses. A monument of Aleksander Fredro, playwright, which used to stand in Lviv, appeared at the Market Square in 1956. In the 1970's tram routes were liquidated and car traffic was reduced (a petrol station also disappeared). The reconstructed Whipping Post, which was damaged during the war, returned to its place.
In 2000, a fountain called Spring (Zdrój) was placed at the Doves' Square. It is named after the then President of the City Bogdan Zdrojewski.
The whipping post, fountain and Fredro's monument are the most popular landmarks at the Market Suare and meeting point of Wroclaw inhabitants and their guests. People also like Jaś and Małgosia (like in Hansel and Gretchen) - two salvaged houses of altarists (alter attendants at the nearby St. Elizabeth's Church) in the northwestern corner of the Market Square.
The Market Square in Wroclaw is venue for Christmas Fair, New Year's Eve events and religious, academic and military celebrations. In 2012, during the European Football Championship the Market Square served as a huge fan zone, where even 30 thousand spectators would come and have a good time.
Wroclaw Market Square - tidbits
- the Wroclaw Market Square is 213 metres long and 178 metres wide,
- 60 townhouses surround the Market Square on four sides, including: Under the Golden Sun (Kamienica Pod Złotym Słońcem), Under the Griffins (Kamienica pod Gryfami), Under the Seven Electors (Kamienic pod Siedmioma Elektorami), Under the Blue Sun (Kamienica Pod Błękitnym Słońcem) and the shopping centre of the Barash brothers (nowadays - the Feniks shopping centre),
- 11 streets run from the Market Square,
- 150 thousand spectators came to the Market Square on the New Year's Eve in 2012.