The Old City Of Zamość is the oldest historic district of the city of Zamość and is unique in Poland as an almost perfectly preserved example of 16th-century Renaissance town planning. It was made a Unesco World Heritage site in 1992. The district was named one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments, as designated 16th September 1994 and its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
The Old City Of Zamość was founded in the 16th century by a wealthy Polish nobleman, Jan Zamoyski (1542−1605), and was modelled on Italian theories of the ‘ideal city’. Jan hired a Paduan architect by the name of Bernando Morando to realise his dream.
The layout of the town was supposedly designed to resemble the human body with the palace as its head, Grodzka Street as the spine and side streets, such as Solna or Moranda acting as the arms.
The city was located on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea and was an important multinational trading centre known for its high level of religious tolerance.
It has retained its original rectilinear street layout and fortifications and a large number of buildings that combine Italian and central European architectural traditions.
The city of Zamość is often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Renaissance’ and the ‘Padua of the North’ and has two distinct sections. To the east is the town, which is laid out around three market squares (the Grand Market Square, the Salt Market Square and the Water Market Square) and to the west is the Zamoyski palace.
The central Grand Market Square is located at the junction of the town’s two main axial streets. Here you will find the magnificent Town Hall, arcaded galleries, restaurants, and old merchants’ houses.
Notable buildings in the Old City Of Zamość include Zamość City Hall, Zamość Cathedral, Zamość Synagogue, Zamojski Academy, and the Zamojski Palace.
The Old Town is surrounded by the remains of the Zamość Fortress.