Stary rynek Poznań
City Poznań

Stary Rynek Poznań – what is worth seeing there

One of the most frequently visited attractions in Poznań is Stary Rynek (the Old Market Square), sometimes also known as the Old Town.

The Old Market Square (pol. Stary Rynek) in Poznań is one of the most colorful places not only in the city, but also in Poland. This opinion is circulating around the world and I fully agree with it. However, this was not always the case. The market suffered a lot during World War II, for example what survived the bombing was burnt down by the German army shocking itself to the Battle of Poznań. Just like a large part of Poznań. So it can be said that the city rose like a Phoenix from the ashes.

In the picture below we have 2 town halls – Old and New. Currently, only the Old Town Hall exists. It was not decided to rebuild the New Town Hall – the place now houses the Municipal Weighing House, which was more associated with Polishness.

Former Stary Rynek (graphics from the Internet)

Location of Stary Rynek

The Old Market Square in Poznań is located in the very center of Poznań. It was built under Brandenburg law. There are streets leading to it, such as:

Looking from the North East – Wielka, Woźna, Wodna, Świętosławska, Wrocławska, Szkolna, Paderewskiego, Franciszkańska, Zamkowa, Rynkowa, Wroniecka and Żydowska.

Each of the names of these streets is not accidental and reflects the history of Poznań! e.g.:

  • Świętosławska – leads to the Fara (the name of the street is associated with a holiday and fame / glory)
  • Wrocławska – now to the Poznań Merchant, but it used to be the city gate called Wrocławka (because it led in the direction of Wrocław)
  • Paderewskiego – leads to Plac Wolności, the place where the Greater Poland Uprising began
  • Franciszkańska – runs the old Franciscan monastery
  • Zamkowa – we will reach the stairs leading to Przemysł Hill and the Royal Castle in Poznań
  • Żydowska – we can walk to the former New Synagogue and the Old Jewish Quarter
Townhouses on Starym Rynku in Poznań
Townhouses on Starym Rynku in Poznań

No tram or bus goes directly to the Old Market Square. However, you can walk from the bus from Garbary or Solna streets. The tram can be reached from Wrocławska (next to Kupiec Poznański) from Rynek Wielkopolski or from Garbary street.

Kamienice Starego Rynku w Poznaniu

What to see on Stary Rynek

The Old Market Square is located practically in the very center of Poznań. It is a must for all tours. However, if you have a little more time, it is worth walking the streets that depart from it.

Poznań City Hall (pol. Ratusz w Poznaniu)

This Renaissance building is located near the intersection of Żydowska and Wielka streets. It is practically difficult to overlook this Renaissance building, as it immediately catches your eye, even if you are on the other side of the square. The town hall is the tallest building in the entire square.

Ratusz w Poznaniu

It is not known exactly when the first town hall was built in this place, but it was around 1300. In the first documents it appears in 1313 under the Latin name Domus consulum. It was then a building in the Gothic style, only later it will be rebuilt in the Renaissance style. During World War II, the building was partially destroyed.

Currently, the building serves as a museum – it houses the Museum of the City of Poznań. The city authorities moved to Kolegiacki Square to the building of the Jesuit College (this area is also worth visiting). Where they definitely have more space.

Every day at noon (noon) a bugle call is played from the tower of the town hall and a show of billy goats is played. Billy goats, like Rogal Święto Marciński, are symbols of the city of Poznań. Therefore, they can be encountered here at every step – both as figurines, ornaments or sometimes live animals (goats). Every day, crowds of people gather for the billy goat show.

Poznań City Hall
Poznań City Hall
Kamienice na Starym Rynku w Poznaniu
Stary Rynek in Poznań

4 Fountains at the corners

In the old square there are 4 fountains located in the 4 corners of the square. Their names come directly from Roman mythology. Their style is also somewhat reminiscent of classic Italy. These are not original fountains, but modern works.

The Mars (god of War) fountain is located at the exit of ul. Zamkowa and Rynkowa and is the work of Rafał Nowak. It was launched in 2005.

Neptune’s Fountain (god of the seas and oceans) is located at the outlet of ul. Szkolna and Paderewski. The sculpture is the work of Adam Piask and Marcin Sobczak. It was launched in 2004.

The Apollo Fountain is located at the exit of ul. Wodna and Świętosławska. It is the work of Marian Konieczny, it was launched in 2002.

The Proserpina Fountain is located opposite the City Hall, i.e. near the mouth of Żydowska and Wielka Streets. It is made in the baroque style. The swimming pool, i.e. the water tank, is decorated with the coat of arms of Poznań and the reliefs of the four elements. The sculpture itself shows the scene of the kidnapping of Proserpina by Pluto, the work of Augustine Schöps from 1758-66.

Fontanna Apolla
Stary rynek Poznań
Fontanna Neptuna
Fontanna Marsa w Poznaniu

The Poznan pillory (Pręgierz Poznański)

The pillory in Poznań is located at the south-eastern corner of the Town Hall, near the Proserpina Fountain and the Budnicze houses on the other side. It looks like a column on top of which a character with a sword is placed. This character is an executioner dressed in a knight’s costume. This symbolizes that this is the place where the death penalty was to take place in the city.

In the past, prisoners could also be chained to the pillory before the execution of the sentence.

Domki Budnicze

This is probably the most colorful aspect of the Poznań Old Market Square. These buildings located next to each other significantly distinguish the local old town from others. These narrow three- or four-storey houses from the first half of the 16th century. On the ground floor, there are arcades with various souvenir shops.

Although I personally like the souvenirs from the city information in Arkadia on Plac Wolności.

Shops, or rather stalls in this place, were already in the 13th century.

The tenement houses were almost completely destroyed during World War II. They were rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1953–1961.

Domki Butnicze w Poznaniu
Domki Budnicze

Croissant Museum of Poznań (Muzeum Rogala Święto Marcińskiego)

It is located in the building opposite the Town Hall, but to enter it you have to go from the other side -> Stary Rynek 41/2 (entrance from Klasztorna 23 street). The museum hosts demonstrations during which the baking of St. Martin (pol. Święty Marcin). It is a great attraction for children, but not only! The shows are mainly in Polish, but on selected days, mainly Saturday and Sunday (and every day on holidays) there is also 1 show in English.

Musical Instrument Museum (Muzeum Instrumentów Muzycznych)

The museum located in Stary Rynek 45 is a branch of the National Museum in Poznań. The museum is quite large because it is actually located in as many as 3 tenement houses. It has also recently undergone renovation, during which the exhibits were subjected to maintenance and repair. In addition, their sound was also recorded in electronic form. So you can rent a tablet and headphones with which you can play back the recordings. I think it’s a good solution because nobody is disturbed too much and everyone can listen to what they want.

The museum contains many unique instruments. It is also the only one of this type of this size in Poland and the third largest in Europe.

Galeria Arsenał

The “Arsenal” City Gallery (pol. Galeria Miejska Arsenał) is located in the southern part of the Old Market Square (in the vicinity of the Armored Weapons Museum). The gallery, which is owned by the city, hosts various exhibitions, lectures and lectures. Their main task is education, expanding knowledge to various dams, e.g. political, cultural

ObNext to the Gallery, there is a figure of St. John of Nepomuk (pol. Figura św. Jana Nepomucena).

figure of St. John of Nepomuk (pol. św. Jan Nepomucen)
figure of St. John of Nepomuk (pol. św. Jan Nepomucen)

Guardhouse in Poznań (Odwach)

So the former City Arsenal (pol. Arsenał Miejski). It was originally a wooden building erected in the 18th century. The building, like all the surrounding buildings, suffered during World War II. The rebuilt building houses the Museum of the Greater Poland Uprising.

odwach poznań
odwach Poznań

The Działyński Palace in Poznań (Pałac Działyńskich)

The historic building with a baroque façade is located on the premises of Stary Rynek 78 Street. The palace was built in the place where there were originally two tenement houses in the years 1773–1776. There is also a garden at the back of the building, but it is not open to the public.

Pałac Działyńskich w Poznaniu

Museum of Henryk Sienkiewicz

In tenement house no. 84 there is the Literary Museum of Henryk Sienkiewicz, opened on June 10, 1978. This museum is one of the youngest museums dedicated to the Nobel Prize winner. Inside, you can see a lot of beautiful furniture, books and documents. The museum is closed on public holidays and most Sundays. Admission is paid!

Waga miejska (Urban weight)

Originally, the city scale was the seat of the weighing scale and its subordinates. Their task was to measure the mass of goods imported and sold in the city. In 1890, the old building was pulled down and a New Town Hall was built in its place. The old one turned out to be too small. As you can see in the picture at the top, the Old and New Town Halls were connected to each other.

After the reconstruction in Libra, weddings began to be performed, which are still held there. It was decided to locate the Registry Office in Poznań here.

Waga Miejska

The streets worth noting are, for example, Wielka, Żydowska, Zamkowa, Wrocławska and Wodna. Each of these streets is not only an architectural gem, but also a memento of the city’s history.

Gastronomy and trade in thea Starym Rynku

You can buy and eat a lot of different things in the Old Market Square. There are various restaurants (with regional, but not only food), cafes (sometimes geared towards hot chocolate) and pubs. If this is not enough for someone, he can look around the streets leading to the Old Market Square. On Wrocławska Street you can find, for example, a lot of clubs and fast-food places. On the other hand, there are plenty of cafes on Świętosławska Street – which really impress inside. Supposedly, Na Zamkowa is the best Pijalnia Czekolady in the city (located in a two-story restaurant).

Interesting facts

The names of some streets were not selected as cases and are directly related to their history. e.g. ul. Żydowska is connected with the Jewish community that used to be in its vicinity. Almost the entire street is one big monument.

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