Market Square, City Hall
Cosy and surrounded by stylish, beautifully restored tenements, the Market Square is among the most gorgeous parts of Opole. History has not been kind to it, but the Square has managed to retain its Mediaeval form. The pastel facade colours and subtle decorations of the soaring spires topping the boutiques, restaurants and cafés make for an unforgettable atmosphere. At the heart of it all is the Italian-style City Hall – a near-perfect copy, albeit a little smaller, of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. The Neo-Renaissance building was erected in the 19th and 20th century and its most distinct feature is the 65-metre tower, which rings with the city anthem every day at noon. The City Hall is where the city authorities are located.
The Opole Market Square used to be filled with stands and booths. Its current form is a direct consequence of the Second World War, which left only a couple of tenements standing. After the war, the Market Square was rebuilt in the Baroque style of the 18th century. It was restored with so much attention to detail that it is now a listed architectural monument. The oldest tenement, dating back to the Middle Ages, is the building under number 1, known as the Lion Tenement. That is where Count von Oppersdorf hosted King John Casimir when he organised the famed convocation of the states in 1655. Another tenement housed theatre reformer Jerzy Grotowski’s famous 13 Rows’ Theatre in the 1960s.