Carriages Back in Market Square

As we reported last week, a new regulation went into effect on Friday banning horse carriages from Krakow’s Market Square between noon and 5 pm.

Now, more changes are proposed in response to complaints from the carriage drivers. Instead of the 12-5 ban, the drivers and carriage owners will have to sign a more restrictive contract with the city.

Carriage owners who operate within the city already have contracts which specify, amongst other things, that horses and carriages are subject to inspections and must pass certain requirements. But on Tuesday, carriage owners met with Krakow’s vice mayor, Wiesław Starowicz, to dispute the ban and negotiate a different agreement, in which they succeeded.

The new terms of the contract include such conditions as the prohibition of the use of stallions or horses that are younger than five years old, a requirement that two people are always present in each carriage, and that horses will undergo regular veterinary examinations and will not be allowed on the square between noon and 3 pm if temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celcius. Drivers will also undergo special training.

City authorities hope that these new restrictions will prevent more accidents involving horse carriages, like the two that took place this month that injured a total of six people.

6 thoughts on “Carriages Back in Market Square

  • September 27, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    On September 25th 2016 around 9.45 pm we were watching carriage horses in the square(Krackow) where a pair of skew bald horses with poor body condition have been working all of our visit.This pair are thin /miserable and the drivers (1 male 1 young female) were yanking the thinner horse on the right cracking it with the whip to make it look better then the male driver continued with abuse as they left the square to go home.These horses are visibly miserable especially the one on the right and stand out from the others.The rest of the horses appear in very good condition and happy if these horses have regular vet checks why has nothing been done to improve their welfare. It broke my heart to see them so miserable and obviously abused by these people who earn money from their misery. They should get another job if they feel nothing for them.

  • September 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Just had a lovely holiday in Krakow, the old square is a great place, unfortunately I saw all the same horses pulling carriages day and night along the cobbles, it made me very sad and ruined my nights out with friends as I’d see these same beautiful horses being over used time and again, one horse owner on the carriage laughed in my face when I asked if the horses have much of a break, they then addmitted that they are used all day every day, how can this be fair or right??? It put me off to be honest, these horses are just being exploited and it should be stopped

  • April 2, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Krakow is beautiful but the horse drawn carriages make me not want to visit again. No water provided and some horses looked tired. Not good

  • May 6, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Th horses are clearly so tired and today some of them looked in need of medical attention. I stood and watched for an hour and saw signs of mental and physical exhaustion. The owners didn’t not give the horses any affection at all, it was absolutely disgusting and something more has to be done. I was very happy visiting krakow this morning and seeing the conditon of the horses completely changed my option. Good do Poland’s horrendous history, I would have thought there would be more care and compassion.

  • June 28, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I’m just returning from my first visit to Krakow and stayed in the square. I agree with all the other comments on here and feel very sad for the horses which are worked until after midnight. The temperature was very hot over the last few days and reached 32 degrees at least. If tourists weren’t so keen to pay for a ride around, these businesses wouldn’t exists in the first place.
    I was also curious about comments on other sites that I didn’t see them poop anywhere. There were comments that the owners were responsible to clear this up and were also very quick to get out and place a plastic bag on a stick under their bums……nice! I find it strange that I didn’t see this happen despite seeing carriage after carriage. They obviously do poop at some time but are they given something I wonder to keep this to the minimum??

  • August 25, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    My husband and I have been visiting Krakow for a few days now and are staying in the Main Square. All though there are some lovely buildings in the main square the most prominent thing that hits me are the horse drawn carriages. These horses are abused for the greed of the owners.
    These horses start by 9.00am and go to midnight or later. How is this humane for any animal. When one has walked near the horses there aren’t any water troughs or buckets nor any feed buckets nor any shade shelters.
    I would like to see the owners of these horses hitched and harnessed up dragging a carriage around with people in it for about 18 hours a day. It’s shameful and even more so that the Polish governments and law makers don’t see anything wrong with this practice. They haven’t learnt anything in regards to abuses in there past. It’s amazing what they can justify when money is concerned.
    I was looking forward in seeing this city but I have wished that I have never come here. I couldn’t recommend it to anyone.
    The Main Square could as beautiful as some of the great squares around the world but it’s a circus out there with load speakers blaring and all of the caous. If the Polish people think that that is great, they are sadly mistaken.
    I read where the so called new law states that the horses aren’t supposed to be working between 3 to 5pm. Well let me tell you, they are. Clearly they can’t tell the time and the authorities aren’t monitoring it.
    What a joke. Shameful Krakow.

    Visitor from Australia.


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