Fence Picketed out of Market Square

The fence that restricted movement on Market Square for nearly three years has disappeared once and for all.

The decision to remove it was finally made in mid-June by the Regional Inspectorate for Building Supervision – however the whole debacle surrounding the controversial barrier continues before the court.

When the fence was put up in 2005, due to Market Square surface refurbishment, no one expected that it would take three years to remove it and that it would cause so much confusion. Some Cracovians were even worried that the fence would become another tourist attraction and with time everyone would get used to it as another Krakow peculiarity. There was even a joke about it, that after a few centuries no one will remember what it really was for and the archaeologists would have to attribute some legendary application to it.

The problems with the fence started during the refurbishment of the Market Square, when archaeologists discovered ruins beneath the present surface. The mayor then wanted to arrange a tourist route there together with a a shopping centre, which arose objections from the residents of Krakow. The municipality started preparatory works underground without appropriate permissions and were brought to court for it. The court case prolonged the life of the fence by two years and even though there were some harbingers of positive changes, the final decision was always appealed by the prosecutor. Finally, the decision was made by a superior official, Chief Inspector for Building Supervision, and was to be applied forthwith.

The case against illegal underground construction is still in progress, however the ill-loved barrier won’t be bothering Cracovians or tourists any more.

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