The Cloth Hall

Sumedha Bharpilania
Krakow’s Cloth Hall was a shopping mall way before the idea of malls even existed. This Renaissance structure, dominating most of Rynek Glowny, is one of the most conspicuous places in Krakow and is loved by both locals and tourists. While today, the many shops on the ground floor majorly sell souvenirs and crafts, this place used to be a hub of textile trade in the 14th century and the 15th century saw the flush of exotic imports. The level upstairs is dedicated to a rich exhibition on 19th Century Polish art. Walk around the arcade and you can then enter the Rynek Underground through its northern end. The Underground is a permanent exhibition and a treasure chest of information about Krakow’s history. There are tools, coins, clay figures and medallions from the medieval ages and documentary films and holograms enrich the experience of peeking into the past. You have to pay 13PLN to get into the Rynek Underground and it is open from 10am till 8pm from Wednesday to Monday. On Tuesdays, it is open till 4pm.