If you are looking for a Renaissance town in Poland, visit Zamość.
Zamość Old Town is located in southeastern Poland. It is the perfect example of a Renaissance town from the 16th century. Walled cities were common in those days, and Zamość was no exception. There are seven fortifications along the walls that helped the military defend the city from invaders. These walls were built to last; 12 meters high and 2.5 meters thick. Three gates give access to the city, each with a drawbridge. Imagine walking through those gates to get to the city, and you may feel you’ve been transported back in time.
This town was the product of superb 16th century urban planning. In 1528, Jan Zamoyski wanted to build a “country within a country” and Bernardo Morando knew how to make it happen. It took them 25 years to design the town, and thanks to their careful planning, we can admire it to this day. The layout was rather simple; just three squares, right-angles streets, large plots for buildings and temples for all religions. In 1992, Zamość was included in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Places to see:
The Great Market Square – A perfect square in the heart of the town, it has eight tenement buildings with arcades along each side. These structures used to be shops and wineries. Today, they have been transformed into al fresco cafés where you can sit down, have a cup of coffee and watch the busy-ness go by.
The Town Hall – If you’re looking for a taste of history, this is the place to visit. Up in its tower, a trumpeter dressed in proper 16th century garb, plays the Zamość signal at noon.
Arsenal – If weaponry is more your thing, then visit the Zamość Old Town Arsenal. This is where Zamoyski’s trophies from earlier battles are kept, along with the military gifts he received. Cannons, firearms, swords, various types of armor and even a contemporary tank are on permanent exhibit.