Discover Daily Life in the Middle Ages

 Cracow has gained an unusual attraction which is not only for tourists, but also for the permanent inhabitants of the city. All will now have the chance to come into almost direct contact with the everyday life of the medieval city. Until recently the remains of that distant past were covered by the paved surface of the largest medieval square in Europe. However, from now on everyone will be able walk four metres below the surface of Rynek Główny (Main Market Square) along a tourist route named ‘Following Cracow’s European Identity’ (Śladem Europejskiej tożsamości Krakowa) and feel with almost each sense how the heart of one of the biggest metropolises of the continent beat at the time. It is one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in the world. The route was created in several stages. At first, extensive archaeological work was carried out on the surface of Rynek Główny, during which the remains of the medieval constructions once standing in the Main Market Square were unearthed. The buildings had been used in the main for commercial purposes, with Rynek Główny acting as the hub of the city’s economic activity. A row of so-called Rich Stalls (Kramy Bogate) were found, where the trade of luxury goods would have taken place, including for example, the buying and selling of splendid textiles that merchants had brought from all the corners of the world, as well as valuable metals and the jewellery made from them. Nearby stood the buildings of the Small and Large Scales, once used to weigh goods such as, for instance, lead. Archaeologists also unearthed traces of a large cemetery, fragments of buildings from 13th century and medieval pavements. After all this work, an underground tourist route across the area, covering over four thousand square metres, was created. The world of the distant past has been revived. To a great extent, the whole project was possible thanks to the use of the latest multimedia. According to information from the authorities of Cracow, 700 remains and 500 electronic reproductions as well as 600 digital 3D reconstructions are displayed along the route. Visitors can use 30 multimedia points, 25 plasma screens, 27 multimedia projectors and 37 tactile screens, through which it is possible to provide an extremely rich set of impressions regarding the story of medieval Cracow together with its vigour, dynamics and charm. (b)