The Gliwice Market Square has preserved the features of the medieval architecture until today (i.e. an almost square form, streets leading out of all the corners and a centrally located town hall). As a result of numerous fires, none of the medieval tenements surrounding the market square have been preserved. The ones we can admire today date back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
In 2010, during archaeological research preceding the planned reconstruction of the Market Square, fragments of a wall dating back to the 14th century were discovered. The scientists are not unanimous in the subject of the functions which could be fulfilled by this structure – considering its vicinity to the Town Hall, it could have been its outhouse. Nevertheless, without complex excavations it is difficult to confirm this hypothesis.
One thing is certain – the Market Square in Gliwice still hides many secrets. According to the legends under the old market square there is a network of corridors, intersecting at various levels. These secret passages are said to have been built during the thirty years’ war thanks to the efforts of inhabitants and monks, willing to provide people with food from the monastic granary.
The focal point of the Market Square is the Town Hall. The first one – made of wood – was erected in the 13th century. It came into being as a brick edifice in the 14 th century. As a result of numerous fires it often changed its forms. Its present shape, in which classicist features prevail, comes from the 20th century. It is worth mentioning that during the reconstruction of the tower of the town hall in 1842, a new knob with a steeple was placed. After opening it during a renovation of 2002, artefacts pertaining to the history of the city were found, inclusive of a handwritten municipal chronicle. Continuing this tradition, the present municipal authorities put materials pertaining to the latest history of Gliwice into the steeple.
A bit surprising element of the Gliwice landscape is a fountain with a statue of Neptune, located near the Town Hall. The figure of the ruler of seas would customarily appear only in towns having access to the sea. The situation is similar in Gliwice. At the end of the 19th century, the KlodnitzCanal was open, thanks to which the city became connected to the Baltic Sea.