Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pod Rynek Główny (Under the Main Market Square)

Tonight we went back in time and underground to what Andy aptly described as a Discovery Channel special on Rynek Główny.  The Rynek Underground Museum is probably the newest museum in Kraków.  It was opened just a few years ago after the excavation of a newly discovered archaeological site.  Archaeologists uncovered the foundations of market stalls from the 13th century.  They were abutted against the foundation walls of the Sukiennice (the building in the center of the Rynek Główny).

There were multi-level buildings in Rynek before it was just a big open space like it is now.  The ruins the museum is built on were like basement stalls, with staircases leading down into them.  On top, there were two-story buildings with more stalls.  It was amazing to think that all of this existed hundreds of years ago.

Here is a photo of the excavation in 2005.

Some of the museum's exhibits were interactive, and many others had screens to read about subjects like trade and occupations.  We spent a lot of time absorbing information and marveling at the ruins.  It was like the museum in Barcelona again! (except newer)  One more touch that I found really amusing was the portraits of the kings hanging in one hall.  If you stood long enough looking at the "paintings," (which were LCD screens), the kings would move around or give you a funny look for a few seconds.  It was just like being in Hogwarts!

Edit:  I wanted to add that in this museum, we learned that the building we're living in was once part of the governor's mansion complex.  Pretty cool!


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