Barbican and St. Florian’s gate

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The Barbican was once an extraordinary medieval defense that still stands on the outer edge of Krakow’s old town.
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  2. Working hours*:
    Monday - Saturday
    8:00 - 18:00
    Sunday - closed
  3. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
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    #Towns , #Architecture

Across from the Barbican - to which it was once connected via drawbridge over the city moat - stands the iconic Floriańska Gate. Erected in 1307, this Gothic gateway tower and its adjacent towers (plus the Barbican) are almost all that remains of the city's ancient defences which once circled the medieval Old Town. As the most important of the city's eight medieval gates, St. Florian's Gate was spared demolition during 19th century Austrian occupation thanks to last-minute local efforts. As in ancient times - when the gate marked the entry point for royal processions into the city en route to Wawel Castle - today Floriańska Gate remains the primary entry point to Kraków's Old Town, leading tourists from the direction of the train station, onto one of the city's main commercial thoroughfares (Floriańska Street), in the direction of the market square. Street musicians commonly play beneath the tower, and ranks of paintings by local artists are sold in the open on either side of the gate.

Standing 34.5 metres tall, including the Baroque 'helmet' added in the 17th century, Floriańska Gate features a stone eagle on the side facing the Barbican, and a 19th century bas-relief of Saint Florian on the side facing Floriańska Street. There is an altar in the actual passageway, and a hidden chapel in the tower itself, which can be accessed via the City Defensive Walls museum (April to October only) - a trip to which may be worth it for the photo opportunities of Floriańska Street from the balcony.

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