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If you are here, you are probably visiting Lublin for the first time and would like to learn a little about its monuments.

We will start our walk at the most characteristic place in Lublin — Plac Łokietka. Let’s look north. We’ve got City Hall in front of us. It was built in the years 1827-1828 in the classicist style on the site of the former convent of barefoot Carmelites. Let’s turn to the right and you will see the most famous monument of Lublin – the Krakow Gate. It is a 14th century gate guarding the entrance to the Old Town in Lublin and a historical symbol of the castle. It is a remnant of defensive walls from the 14th century. It was built in the Gothic style, and in the 18th century it was given a Baroque look.

Let’s go through the gate now and turn right after it. Coming to the end of this alleyway, we see two interesting things. On the right there is a Gothic tower, because of its shape it is also called the Semicircular Tower. Older residents of Lublin may not be familiar with it, because it was reconstructed only in the 1980s. 20th century. The tower was built in 1341. Unfortunately, no shooting porches (wooden bridges allowing defenders access to shooting ranges) have been preserved to this day. To the left of the tower is a mural that I’m sure caught your eye. It presents a panorama of the city from the 17th century.

Let’s go back to Brama Krakowska and turn right into Bramowa Street. After passing a few dozen meters we reach the Market Square. It is not the same as the „standard” market (there is no well in the central part of the square, there is no fountain on it, etc. ). In the middle is the Crown Court. It was the original building of the town hall, of Gothic form. It was built in the 14th century and was wooden. The building has been repeatedly digested by fires and rebuilt. From 1578, by decision of King Stefan Batory, the building served as the Crown Court. However, the bribery of judges and unfair sentences led to the dissolution of the institution. One of the most famous examples of bribery was the so-called. Devil’s court (then the devils gave a fairer verdict than the judges, and to confirm it they bounced the evil paw into the table, which we can see in the museum at the Castle). Today, the building of the former Crown Court houses the Palace of Weddings, and the Great Hall hosts concerts and meetings. The underground (former cellar-winery and prison) houses the Lublin Underground Route.

Let’s go towards the square after Farah, along Grodzka Street. Above us we pass a statue of a master craftsman from Lublin. A few meters before the site of the former parish church turn left into the narrow street Ku Farze. It is one of the more atmospheric streets in the city. She is also loved by filmmakers and often appears in productions set during World War II.

We are now approaching Rybny Square. Its name is associated with its original function – a market square, where fish caught in the Chekhovka flowing below were traded. There were also wooden buildings, several times destroyed by fires – a town bath and a brothel, run by a nearby town hangman. Only in the 19th century the square became a representative place, next to which stood the Pawęczkowski Palace – one of the most elegant buildings of Lublin at that time.

We move on now. We’re going down Novorbna Street. Then turn left into Olejna Street, and then right. On the corner (ul. Olejna 10) there is a tenement house with an unusual, wooden vestibule. It is a pony and serves as a porch and a trapdoor, and during the festival of Sukkot, celebrated by the Jews at the turn of September and October, it was transformed into a ritual hut.

We continue and turn into Lubartowska Street. We’re going up it. At the first intersection turn right into Bajkowskiego Street. As a curiosity, I can add that it is one of the few streets in Lublin, which to this day have a cobblestone reminding the time of the Communist People’s Republic of Poland. On the left side we pass the town hall again (only from the back). If we look to the right we have a panorama of Chekov.

Then turn right into Świętoduska Street. We’re going down it. On the left we pass the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites. This temple was built in the 17th century. The building has the characteristics of the Lublin Renaissance, and the interior is maintained in the Baroque style. On the facade are placed the statues of two saints, St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross.

We go further down Świętoduska Street. At the nearest intersection, turn left and then gently right. On the right we pass the building of the Institute of National Remembrance. If we go a little further, we’ll see two buildings. The first of them — brick, is the former composition of grains. The second building (Szewska 4) houses the Regional Onion Museum. We recommend to stop by for a while, because during the visit we will learn a bit about the history of this delicacy. We will also learn how to make onions, and at the end of the visit we will be able to taste them.

Leaving the Onion Museum, we go back to the crossword puzzle. We continue straight towards Kowalska Street. On the right we pass a place that unfortunately has passed the years of greatness behind us. These are the so-called. Arkady. There used to be a restaurant here, and even before that there was a market.

We’re crossing St. Lubartowska and enter Kowalska Street. After passing a few dozen meters on the right side you will see a staircase. It’s a Hartwig alley. There used to be an open drainage channel collecting rainwater and debris from the Old Town area. Due to frequent failures of the canal, in 1835 the canal was converted into an underground canal. In 1874, stairs were built above it, which still exist today. The name of the place is not accidental – the place was photographed many times by Edward Hartwig.

Continuing along Kowalska Street, at some point we reach the Castle Square. Its history is connected with the Jewish settlement in Lublin. In the place where the square is located, until 1942 Szeroka Street – the main street of the Jewish city ran. The city was almost completely destroyed by the Germans during World War II. After the war, the authorities decided to create a representative square with monumental stairs leading to the Lublin Castle. However, we will not enter with them and we will go to the other side of it. On his right we pass a statue of a lion. His figure was recreated according to the model from the Eagle Cemetery in Lviv. The statue of the lion is a symbol of ties with compatriots in Lviv and on the eastern borders.

We’re crossing Millennium Avenue now. On the other side is one of the youngest monuments of Lublin — the Hall of the PKS station. The building was built in a modernist style and opened on 17 December 1967.

We move on now. We’re now at another intersection. We cross the road and climb up Szkolna Street. On the right side are the stairs that lead to the church of St. Santa Claus. It is considered to be the oldest temple in Lublin. There is even a claim (although historically unconfirmed) that the church stood here during the reign of Mieszko I, in the 10th century. The current building dates from the 16th century and was built in the style of the Lublin Renaissance. From its bell tower there is a beautiful panorama of the Old Town.

Now, after the climb, you have to go down. We’re going back to Ruska Street. We go through it and turn left. Then we go right to the bus parking lot. We see one of the few remnants of the Jewish city — a water well. On the left side of the well we have an Orthodox cathedral. It is the first building of this type in Lublin, built in 1447. In the beginning it was a wooden church, and in 1607 it was rebuilt into a brick one. It changed owners many times, from Orthodox to Unites and vice versa. Unfortunately, we will not visit the building, because it is constantly closed, only during the service there is a chance to admire its interiors.

From the church we go towards the Castle. Once again we pass through W-Zka and go up Castle Street. At its end on the left side we have the remains of an old castle tower. We walk a little further and after a few steps we find ourselves in front of the facade of the Lublin Castle.

We’re going into his courtyard. Probably the first thing we will pay attention to is the donjon — the oldest preserved structure of the castle hill. It was erected on its southern slope probably in the second half of the 13th century as a defensive and residential tower. It is the only monument of Romanesque art on this side of the Vistula. Of course, we recommend to climb the mountain, because it offers a wonderful panorama of the whole city. Behind the donjon is the Chapel of the Holy Trinity. It is one of the most valuable monuments of medieval art in Poland. Gothic architecture, which is filled with Byzantine-Russian paintings, is a unique synthesis of cultures of East and West. Of course, while at the castle, we also recommend to visit the museum located there, from which there is a passage to the interior of the chapel.

Leaving the castle, turn left and follow the arcade viaduct. After its passage we reach another gate guarding the entrance to the old town. It is the Grodzka Gate — one of the first brick elements of the city fortifications built in 1342 after the permission of Casimir the Great. For centuries the Grodzka Gate was also called the Jewish Gate, because it was the passage between the Old Town and the Jewish Quarter.

After passing through it we climb up the hill and reach the Square after Farah. It is one of the oldest places in the Old Town of Lublin, hiding relics of buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. The church of St. John, which was built here in the past. Michał, the first parish in Lublin, was one of the most important elements shaping the panorama of the city. Today, its existence is evidenced by foundations raised above ground level and a bronze model.

We’re going down Archdeacon Street now. At its end, on the left we have the Dominican Fathers Monastery. It was erected in the eastern part of the Old Town hill, on a small hill, the so-called Dominican hill. The history of the monastery is connected with the relic of the Tree of the Holy Cross, located in it until 1991.

We’re going down Dominican Street now. At the end of it on the right side is the Old Theatre. It is located in one of the oldest theatre buildings in Poland. It was built in 1822 by Łukasz Rodakiewicz. For many years there was a cinema here, and shows of wrestling fights were held. In the ’80s. In the 20th century the building ceased to be used and gradually deteriorated. Renovation work began in 2008 with the aim of restoring the building to the state of its glory. The Old Theatre resumed its activities in 2012.

Going further, on the left we pass the former Jesuit College. We’re coming to the intersection now. At one of the tenement houses there is a mysterious stone. YOU MUSTN’T TOUCH HIM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! This is the ancient stone of the executioner, and its touching causes long-lasting misfortune. Right next to the stone we have the Trinitarian Tower. It is the highest point of development in Old Town Lublin. It was erected in 1693 on the site of the former city gate as a bell tower. Its present appearance owes to the reconstruction of 1819, and its name comes from the Trinitarian Order, who resided in the Pojezuite buildings between 1781 and 1814.

We’re going through it. On the left side is the Lublin Archcathedral. The church was consecrated in 1604. It is one of the first Baroque buildings erected outside Italy. In the second half of the 18th century, after the cancellation of the Jesuit order, it fell into ruin. Restoration work was carried out in the first half of the 19th century. In 1823, the church was elevated to the rank of a cathedral.

We’re going west now, we’re going down Royal Street. After a short walk we arrive at the place from which we started — Plac Łokietka. This is not the end of our tour! We are now going through Krakowskie Przedmieście towards Lithuanian Square. Coming to the square, on the left you will pass PEDET — a former department store. Before World War II, Hotel Victoria was located here.

Going a little further, on the left side we will have the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Lublin. The Lublin Capuchin Monastery was established as the fourth institution of this order in Poland. It was founded by Prince Paweł Karol Sanguszka and his wife Marianna of Lubomirskie. The Capuchins remained in Lublin until 1864, and returned to their church in 1919.

On the opposite side of the church there is a monument to the Union of Lublin. It commemorates the union of the Crown of Poland with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1 July 1569). The monument was erected at the place where the nobility came to the Sejm and where the meetings were held. It is one of three buildings in Lublin recognized by the European Union in March 2007 as a symbol of European heritage.

And that’s how we got to Lithuanian Square — the main and most important of its kind in the city. Currently, various celebrations and festivals are held there. From 1876 on the Lithuanian Square there was a cathedral of St. Elevation of the Holy Cross, which until 1915 was the main Orthodox church in Lublin. Today there is no trace of this church in the city. Only under the surface of the square are the foundations of the cathedral preserved.

And this is the end of our tour of Lublin’s Old Town. We encourage you to explore the different corners of the city with our other guides!