In the east of Poland, about 80 kilometres from the border with Ukraine, lies a rather unique fortified town. As its founder Jan Zamoyski (Chancellor and Head of the Army) envisioned in 1580, Zamość was to be an ideal, fortified town on the then important trade route of Western and Northern Europa, and the Black Sea. Centuries later much of that still stands, and what has changed is being brought back into its old way of being.
For those who like Italy, do certainly pay a visit to Zamość. You might recognize some of Northern Italian towns, as those were the model for Zamość when it was made. Even its main architect in the late 16th century was Italian: Bernado Morando from Padua. The original street lay-out remains, as well as some Italian touches here and there.
Most of those touches are renovated or rebuild, as Nazi-German bombardments in 1939 and Soviet occupation after the war took a toll. However, parts of the original fortifications remain. Like many other Polish towns and cities the core of Zamość is centered around a big market square ("rynek"). This is dominated by the Town Hall ("ratusz") and the colourful Armenian houses. Flanked on all sides are merchant-residential houses with arched walkways.
Strolling through Zamość is a joy, as practically every street or corner has a nice surprise. There are a few small inner courtyards open to the public, and the fortification can be navigated from sides, above and even from within.
I've visited Zamość a couple of times. The photos of these album are from my latest walks, taken in November 2023.
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