Town Hall Tower

Visit the old dungeon and torture chamber of this medieval tower and climb up its spiral stone staircase for superb city views.

The Town Hall Tower is a survivor, the only part of Kraków's 14th-century Town Hall remaining to this day. The large Gothic structure stands at 230 feet (70 meters) and is one of the most distinctive buildings in the city.

The tall edifice has stood on its own since the early 19th century, when the town hall was demolished to open up the Main Market Square. See how the two buildings used to look by studying the metal model of the old Town Hall outside the tower.

Look closely at the thick cream and red walls of the lofty attraction and before long its most unusual feature will become clear. The tower in fact has a lean of 21 inches (55 centimeters) caused by strong winds during a storm in 1703. Several fires caused further damage over the years with the result that the current roof is a Baroque addition from the late 17th century. Admire the attractive façades which are topped by an elaborate crown. Outside the main entrance are carvings of two stone lions.

If you are feeling up to the challenge, make your way inside and climb the 100 stone stairs to the top. The staircase is narrow, steep and spiral. From the platform at the top of the tower, you can enjoy a spectacular view across Kraków. You can also take in city vistas as you ascend, by looking through the small windows.

While you are in the tower, stop by its small exhibition space, a branch of the city’s historical museum. Among the exhibits are some old photographs, medieval costumes and information about the tower's clock. Before leaving the building, venture into its cellar, which used to be a dungeon and a torture chamber. Today, the reasons for being there are much more appealing, because they have been turned into a café and a theater.

Town Hall Tower is in the center of the Main Market Square in the heart of Kraków. The tower is open every day and there is a small admission fee.

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