Wolnica Square – a quaint relic of the old Kazimierz market square
The Wolnica Square is one of the best-known places in the district of Kazimierz, but nevertheless not quite popular as other places in the former Jewish district of Krakow. It is located conveniently near Krakowska St., not far from the center of Krakow, so it takes a dozen or so minutes to walk from the Main Square, and if you take one of the quite a few trams going there, it is even less.
The old Kazimierz square was established after 1340, when king Kazimierz III the Great bought the village of Bawol from the Krakow chapter house. The establishment of the square was necessary after founding the city of Kazimierz by the king in 1335. The square was just a bit smaller than the Krakow Main Square, which was the biggest market square in medieval Europe.
The recent name of the square actually dates back to medieval times and comes from the name of a trade privilege, that permitted free trade of meat outside the butcheries for the butchers not belonging to the butcher’s guild. The name was used aside the offical name of the square, which was the Kazimierz Square.
The city of Kazimierz was incorporated to the city of Krakow successively between 1791 and 1800. After the incorporation the Kazimierz Square was reduced to the rank of just one of Krakow’s squares. The remolding of the district and surroundings of the square gave the square its present shape. Wolnica Square is just a small part of the old, much larger Kazimierz Square.
Today, Wolnica Square is a picturesque place where the citizens of Kazimierz and tourists can rest on benches and of course view the nearby Ethnographic Museum or relax in one of the local coffehouses or restaurants.
Wolnica Square Info
Address: Plac Wolnica, 31-060 Krakow.
Map ref: 50.048705, 19.943895
Opening hours: You can view the square and the premises 24h a day.
Cost: Admission to the square and premises is free. If you want to view the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow located in the old Kazimierz town hall next to the square, admission is 13 PLN regular, 7 PLN concessionary.
http://etnomuzeum.eu/ [the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow located by the Wolnica Square]
Images by Mateusz Świercz for Absolute Tours