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Old Market Square in Olsztyn

The city of Olsztyn was founded in the 14th century. In 1353, the Warmian Chapter granted city rights to the settlement. The highest elevation of the city fortifications is the Upper Gate (High Gate). It was built in the fourteenth century. A prison had been located here from 1858, and in 1898 it was handed over to the police station.

In 1863, Wojciech Kętrzyński, born Adalbert von Winkler - a historian and the director of the Ossolineum Library in Lemberg, the capitol of Galicia, Austrian Empire - was imprisoned here, accused of helping the January insurgents. The Upper Gate was renewed in 2003. In its blende,the image of Our Lady Queen of Peace, donated by John Paul II had been placed. Apart from the gate, other still surviving elements of the city buidings are the remains of the city walls at the castle, the St. James Basilica as well as on the streets: Asnyka and Okopowa. The concatedal basilica of Saint James the Apostle was erected in the second half of the 14th century in the gothic style. The Old Town Hall was created in the very same time period, too.

Originally, the Town Hall had one wing only. In 1620, it was destroyed during the city fire. Soon it was rebuilt, yet now in a different form. The building was again destroyed in 1945 by the Red Army. In the years 1946-1949, its reconstruction was undertaken, in 2003 the turret was restored and gothic elements were unveiled (arches). Under the Town Hall, there are still medieval cellars preserved. In the walls, there are solar clocks. Currently, the building houses the seat of the Provincial Public Library.

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