Sunday, April 28, 2013

On the Old Town Square & the Cloth Hall

The Old Town Square in Krakow is mainly towered by the old City Hall Tower and the Cloth Hall, or known to the locals as Sukiennice. The square was huge, about the size of 2 football fields. According to a local friend, the square is usually quite busy in the spring and summer when stalls are set up. It was basically a buzzling open air market. There were of course some stalls when I was there, but with the chill of winter still lingering around, tourists were halved and locals stay indoor.

Like the old town squares in many other cities, the city council placed horse carriages to entice the tourists. But mind you, from what I recall, such a ride cost a bomb! It was of course, fairy-land like to sit in those carriages; giving you a chance to see the whole city, including the streets outside the old town square like the jewish quarters and all, in comfort.

Now, back to the part where I mentioned about souvenir. The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) had since the past, been the trading ground for some traders and had since been for the same family. The interesting fact that I found out was, the traders that run the stalls in there now, were actually descendents of the traders who used to run their business there in the past. And these families had their emblem painted on the roof. Only those who used to trade there are allowed to run a stall there. How true was it, I'm not sure.

But sure enough, all the stalls in the street were selling souvenirs - wooden crate, magnets, toys, table cloth, pendants, and everything you could think of. There are also a handful of stalls selling Baltic embers, smallest of 5cm costing about 30-40 PLN up to the big one up to the size of a fist that cost up to a few thousands PLN. Many Japanese tourists were there to get these embers. I was reading up on how authentic these embers were, considering minerals / accessories like this, may just as well be a fake. But it seemed a lot of the tourists to Krakow rather get these jewellery here than from the jewellery shop outside... So I presumed these should be of a certain quality. LOL

0 Jujus: