Market hall, Gdańsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The market hall, built in the late 19th century in the eclectic style, is the only building of this kind in Gdańsk that has survived to this day and still performs its original function.

History

The market hall - designed by Kurt Fehlhaber and built in years 1894-1896 - was intended to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the phenomenon of hawker trade in the Main Town and in the Old Town. The interiors of the market hall, apart from 188 stalls for merchants in the form of wooden kiosks and stands, contained administrative offices, a police station and sanitary facilities. The so-called green market, where various goods were sold from stalls, operated outside the building. Between the 1930s and the 1940s the exterior decorations were simplified through the removal - among others - of the eclectic spires crowning the turrets; a mezzanine running along the western interior wall was erected during the same period. During the final year of World War II, the market hall was used as a food storage facility. The hostilities in March 1945 have not resulted in the building suffering any serious damage. After the war ended, the market hall still performed its original, commercial function, although it was now operated by a state-owned enterprise. In 1999 architectural research began, aimed at preparing for a comprehensive restoration of the building. In the course of the renovation works, the building was refurbished and modernised; the missing detailing of the facades was also restored. In 2001, remains of an early mediaeval trading settlement, the original (Romanesque) St Nicholas church and the surrounding cemetery were discovered underneath the market hall. A decision was taken to exhibit these valuable findings in the form of an underground archaeological museum which included the remnants of the church’s chancel and parts of the nave. The exhibition was supplemented by descriptions of the findings as well as a collection of moveable items obtained in the course of the research. Since 2005, the market hall once again performs its original function; it remains the property of a limited liability company called Kupcy Dominikańscy sp. z o.o.

Description

The market hall is located in the middle part of the Dominican Square, on the site once occupied by a Dominican monastery which was demolished in the 19th century. It stands between the Pańska, Podwale Staromiejskie and Lawendowa streets. The market hall was built in the eclectic style on an elongated rectangular floor plan; it is a single-storey building (with basement). The metal roof framework of lattice design rests upon two rows of cast iron pillars which divide the space of the hall into three distinct bays, the middle one being higher and wider than the side ones, with clerestory windows to ensure a brighter ambience. As a result, the entire layout resembles that of a basilica. The building itself is a brick structure with ceramic brick infill ceilings above the basement. The roof consists of two sections - a hip roof above the central part of the structure and shed roofs above the side sections, all covered with sheet metal. The brick facades feature glazed brick sections; the distinct base section of the building, with its large semicircular-arch windows (ten windows on each of the longer sides and two windows on each of the shorter sides of the building) is crowned with an attic. The attic is pierced by rows of openings and partitioned with overhanging pinnacles and corner towers with lantern-like spires. The four entrances into the buildings are positioned on the main axes thereof, accentuated by various architectural embellishments (pseudo-avant-corps, polygonal turrets, buttresses and the coat of arms of the city of Gdańsk. The rounded arch doorways and transom lights feature decorative grates with foliate scrollwork and emblems of commerce. The modernised interiors contain three levels adapted for trade; the upper level is located on a modern mezzanine running along the perimeter of the building; the middle level is the ground floor, while the lower level is located in the basement.

The building is open to visitors. The interiors and the archaeological museum can be visited from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 18:00 as well as on Saturdays between 9:00 and 15:00 (detailed information available at http://www.halatargowa.pl).

Compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 22.09.2014.

Bibliography

  • Barton-Piórkowska J., Hala Targowa, [w:] Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce. Miasto Gdańsk, cz. 1: Główne Miasto, Warszawa 2006, s. 72-73.
  • Śliwiński B., Hala Targowa, [w:] Śliwiński B. (red. nauk.), Encyklopedia Gdańska, Gdańsk 2012, s. 376.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: koniec XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: pl. Dominikański 1, Gdańsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdańsk, commune Gdańsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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