Lublin Old Town is the historic heart of the capital of Lublin Voivodeship and a designated Polish Historical Monument. It spreads across four hills, including Czwartek, Grodzisko, Zamkowe and Staromiejskie, and is surrounded by 14th century fortifications which include the Gothic-style Krakowska Gate.
The cobblestone streets of the Old Town are lined with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars, many of which are set within traditional burgher houses. Its northern edge is dominated by the Lublin Castle, originally built in the 14th century and transformed into a Neo-Gothic, white-fronted masterpiece during the 19th century. Its well-preserved interior exhibits period furnishings and weaponry, while the 13th century Romanesque Chapel of Holy Trinity is famed for its 15th century Byzantine wall paintings. Market Square is the central hub of the Old Town, flanked by the former seat of the Crown Tribunal and elegant 15th century mansions. An underground tourist trail leads visitors through the basements of these former merchants’ stores and wine cellars, offering a unique perspective on Lublin’s history. The Krakowska Gate, originally built in the mid 14th century, serves as the southwestern entrance to the Old Town and lies just a short walk from the Baroque-style Lublin Cathedral whose trompe l’oeil frescoes were painted by Moravian artist Jozef Majer. The Dominican Monastery Complex is situated a short stroll to the east, built in an elaborate 16th century Renaissance style and home to the Chapel of the Firlej Family.
Trains connecting to Warsaw, Krakow and other major Polish cities depart from the Lublin Station which is located around two kilometres south of the Old Town. Both buses and trolleybuses connect this historic hub with the modern suburbs which surround, while its cobblestone streets are best explored on foot.
Due to its strategic location part way between Krakow and the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, Lublin was where the two states were united into a single Commonwealth during the 16th century. It rose to prominence as an important administrative centre and seat of the country’s highest court, as well as being a convergence of people from not only Poland and Lithuania but also Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.