See the Market Square of Podgórze: the heart of Podgórze and the pride of its inhabitants!
The Market Square of Podgórze, once the centre of an autonomous city, was staked out in the 1780s, when Podgórze became a city. The selection of the place was no coincidence, as this is where roads, important already in the Middle Ages, crossed: they led to Wieliczka (the salt route), Kraków (fording the Vistula River), and towards Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. To make the relatively small area of the square look larger, it was designed in the shape of a trapezoid, tapering towards the church.
The seats of the city’s most important institutions were located on the Market Square, notably the first town hall, and later the famous Pod Czarnym Orłem (Under the Black Eagle, No. 13) inn, and the new town hall (from mid-19th-century at No. 1).
The Parish Church of St Joseph was erected at the southern end of the Market Square in the 19th century, to be remodelled in neo-Gothic style early in the 20th. Its dominant element is the 80 m (262 ft) clock tower crowned with a tall spire, which makes a clear allusion to the medieval dome on the taller tower of St Mary’s: did this express the envy of the proud people of Podgórze?
During the Second World War, the Nazi authorities created a ghetto for people of Jewish origin in Podgórze. Bearing the inscription Jüdischer Wohnbezirk, its main gates stood where Limanowskiego street meets the Market Square of Podgórze.