Just as in other market squares, trading in Kraków’s Main Market Square was not only regulated by rules but also associated with certain superstitions that guaranteed success for the merchants. A merchant starting their trading day would be confident only if their first customer was...
The Main Market Square once played a role of a market place with 400 stalls (merchants also put their merchandise in baskets on the pavement). Since the beginning of the 14th century and moving onto the 18th century, each part of the square was reserved for salesmen offering various kinds of merchandise...
This is an amateur photograph in which an important historical event has been captured. It was made by an unknown author on 3 May 1919 in Kraków. On the Market Square, the infantry is in the foreground; next, the artillery — set in a double row, back to the photographer. Sukiennice [The Cloth Hall] was decorated with flags and the Polish emblem. Many groups of civilians stand under them. A field mass is taking place, organised by artillery and cavalry. Under the arcades of the central part of the Cloth Hall, on the side of Szewska street, an altar was organised which was decorated with flowers and emblems of national colours. From the side of the town hall there are Kraków units represented by the 13th Infantry Regiment with an orchestra, 20th Infantry Regiment of the Kraków Land and 8th Uhlan Regiment.
Photomontage: a white plane of the Main Market Square, the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, the Cloth Hall, outlines of the Wawel Castle and churches — all made of black paper columns with white letters overprinted. What draws our attention is the calendar page dated “March 8, International Women’s Day.”
The photograph shows a view of the Cloth Hall from the side of the Adam Mickiewicz monument and the St. Mary’s Basilica. There are interesting details: in the background behind the Cloth Hall you can see the dome of the town hall tower with many passers-by in front of the building. There are the umbrellas of the stalls selling flowers, many pigeons and a tree. The foreground features the pavement slabs from the 1960s . On the ground and in the upper parts of the monuments there are thick white painted lines, standing out from the grey and black.
The photograph presents an important historical moment in the history of the main market square in Kraków, because it probably shows the reinstallation of the statue of Adam Mickiewicz in the Main Square on 26 November 1955.
The monument to Mickiewicz which was unveiled in Kraków in 1889 was not the only honour given to the poet after his death. Over the 34 years that passed since the 26th of November 1855 (the date of his death), the poet’s body and his person, reproduced in depictions and photographs, was idealised. With time, it became less and less similar to the original. It entered the sphere of myth and interpretation.