Market Hall also known as the Town Hall, Staszów
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Market Hall also known as the Town Hall

Staszów

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The only well-preserved cloth hall (market hall) in the Świętokrzyskie region, bearing the hallmarks of the Classicist style.

History

The town, founded before 1525 at the initiative of Hieronim Łaski, the voivode of Sieradz, has quickly become an important part of the Cracow-Lublin route. In the 18th century, it has attained the status of an administrative centre of a vast landed estate, later known as the “Staszów State”, its successive owners being the Sieniawski, Czartoryski and Lubomirski families. During that time, the town experienced a period of rapid economic growth. Numerous workshops and industrial facilities began to spring up, most of them operating in the textile and weaving industry; there was also a hammer mill, a sword maker’s workshop and several breweries and distilleries. It was this rapid growth of the local industry that led to the construction of the Staszów Market Hall. Numerous researchers have advanced the view that the market hall was erected somewhere around the year 1738, at the initiative of the erstwhile owner of the “Staszów State”, August Czartoryski; it is possible that the building may have been erected over the remnants of an older structure which might have originally been the local town hall. In 1861, the Market Hall underwent a comprehensive restoration and redesign; the bell tower was lowered, while the northern side of the building was now adjoined by an annex. It was either during that period or slightly later that the edifice attained its current, Classicist style. In the 1980s, the Market Hall underwent a full-scale renovation, with the northern section of the edifice being adapted to serve as the “Under the Clock” restaurant. The tower clock mechanism was replaced in 1986. Today, the northern section continues to serve as a restaurant, while the southern section now houses the municipal library. It needs to be emphasised that the building has never performed the role of a town hall; before World War II broke out, the edifice served as a typical trade hall, a close relative of the cloth halls which existed in many other towns.

Description

The Market Hall is a single-storey brick and stone building with a basement, situated in the middle of the Staszów market square, its longer side following the north-south axis. The single-storey, compact main body of the building is covered with a tall, four-sloped roof featuring a low clock tower jutting from its ridge. The tower itself is crowned with a flat, eight-faced roof and a small, bulbous steeple with an arcaded section. The building was designed on an elongated rectangular plan – a typical feature of commercial buildings of the day, featuring a central hall running across the entire building as well as a narrow, transverse vestibule in the middle, transecting the hall. The central hall is flanked by a symmetrical arrangement of the former stores. Outside the building, the middle sections of its longer walls are adjoined by symmetrical arcades supported by stout pillars and featuring segment-headed vaulted ceiling of the barrel type, supported by arches, with the monumental arched apertures opening towards the market square beyond. The façades of the building are simple and restrained, featuring rusticated lesenes at the corners; the entrances leading into the central hall and the transverse vestibule are likewise accentuated with lesenes. The windows are adorned with simple, eared surrounds. Inside, the central hall still features its original vaulted ceiling of the barrel type, with lunettes, with a double-barrel vault being used for the crossing between the hall and the vestibule. The massive supporting arches in this section of the building mark the base of the clock tower above. The façades are topped with a uniform, restrained profiled entablature. Today, the central hall is partitioned by a wall positioned mid-length, with the former entrances to the now-defunct stores also being blocked.

The building can be explored during the opening hours of the library and restaurant.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, 08-12-2015

Bibliography

  • Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. III, issue 11, Warsaw 1962.
  • Kazimierza Stronczyńskiego opisy i widoki zabytków w Królestwie Polskim (1844-1855), vol. II: Gubernia Radomska, prepared by K. Guttmejer, Warsaw 2010

General information

  • Type: town hall
  • Chronology: 1728 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Staszów
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district staszowski, commune Staszów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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