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west side of the Cloth Hall | by Anosmia
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west side of the Cloth Hall

A structure or structures of some sort have existed on this spot since the mid-13th century—probably two rows of stone trading stalls. Around 1300 a roof would have been placed over these stalls, creating the first Cloth Hall-style structure. In the 14th century King Casimir the Great allowed the structure to take the form of a huge hall, and more and more stalls sprang up around it. This survived until the mid-16th century when a fire destroyed it. A new structure was quickly built and underwent a Renaissance facelift. During 1875-79 many of the outbuildings were torn down and it was then that the neo-Gothic colonnades and outside arcades were added. The interior was converted into a series of wooden stalls while upstairs rooms were built to house the first Polish National Museum. The 20th century saw ongoing development of the building, with the most significant work being carried out in the late 1950s when much of the 19th century interior was replaced. Between 2006-10, the building was given a complete re-modeling and space within the building was re-worked to create new space above the traders’ stalls.

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Taken on December 29, 2011