Architectural Layout

The Foundation Charter of Kraków under Magdeburg Law did not precisely define the boundaries of the city. The first sources concerning the changes in the city layout come to us from the period after the revolt of Albert of Kraków in 1311-1312. Albert held the title of Wójt [Latin:advocatus, originally a hereditary superior of the municipality acting on behalf of the sovereign of the city]. Subsequent to this revolt the seat of the Wójt called gródek wójtowski (a fortified and independent settlement) was demolished and the area incorporated into the city. It was also at this time that the Wawel was joined to Kraków.
The next stages of change the municipality underwent was in the foundation by King Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki) (1310-1370) of the two towns: Kazimierz (1335) and Kleparz (1366).

Kazimierz was founded on the site of an existing settlement. Its foundation charter refers to the area of Stradom located outside of the walls of the Wawel and between two riverbeds of the Vistula; later in 1340 this was extended by the incorporation of the village of Bawół. Walls began to be erected to surround the town. Skałka was alsoconsidered a part of the town, even though it was situated outside of its walls. Authority in the town was held by a non-hereditary wójt, appointed by the king, together with his bench, and the town council. Kazimierz quickly assumed a commercial and craft economy, thanks to the privileges it was granted (the right to hold a weekly market, build scales to weigh metal for the needs of the Kraków salt mines, the right to carry on trade in Kraków and other cities and to possess the monopoly on the transport of drinks). The Jewish community which had been displaced to Kazimierz from Kraków in 1494 also contributed to its growth.

Kleparz, until the 16th century called Florencja, was founded on the site of a small settlement around Saint Florian Church, which had given the hamlet its original name. The area ran from Kraków's defensive walls (between Sławkowska and Szpitalna Street) to Saint Forian and Saint Philip Churches, the bishop’s jurydyka [a settlement and church or nobility’s property within the city area, but exempted from any burdens on its behalf and not subject to the city authorities] of Pędzichów and to the streets Długa and Zacisze. It, however, was never fully surrounded by walls. Kleparz developed owing to the trade roads from Kraków passing through the town to: Sławków and Olkusz, Sandomierz and Lublin as well as Prądnik, Miechów, Thorn (Toruń) and Masovia. Authority in the small town was held by a non-hereditary Wójt along with the bench and the town council, which held power independently from 1412, having bought up the post of wójt. Kraków strongly opposed the endeavours made by Kleparz to be granted new privileges. This impeded the development of Kleparz and in the 16th century Kraków managed to reduce its role to one of being a suburb only.

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