Kraków Barbican

Kraków, Poland

The Kraków Barbican is a fortified outpost once connected to the city walls. It is a historic gateway leading into the Old Town of Kraków. The barbican is one of the few remaining relics of the complex network of fortifications and defensive barriers that once encircled the royal city. It currently serves as a tourist attraction and venue for a variety of exhibitions.

The Gothic-style barbican, built around 1498, is one of only three such fortified outposts still surviving in Europe, and the best preserved. It is a moated cylindrical brick structure with an inner courtyard 24.4 meters in diameter, and seven turrets. Its 3-meter-thick walls hold 130 embrasures. The barbican was originally linked to the city walls by a covered passageway that led through St. Florian"s Gate and served as a checkpoint for all who entered the city.

On its eastern wall, a tablet commemorates the feat of a Kraków burgher, Marcin Oracewicz, who, during the Bar Confederation, defended the town against the Russians and shot their Colonel Panin. Masterpiece of medieval military engineering, with its circular fortress, was added to the city"s fortifications along the coronation route in the late 15th century.



Your name


Founded: 1498
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Miles Macdonald (15 months ago)
There's not too much to see here, no artifacts, just the building itself. However this is a significant structure. Built in 1498 it has survived intact throughout the centuries. There are information boards explaining the history of this fortification and you can walk around the passage way the runs between the inner and out walls. It's worth spending 30 mins here and the entrance price is cheap, just 10 Slt for retired person.
Robert Chomicz (17 months ago)
One of the most iconic buildings in Krakow. Located in front of the St. Florian's Gate this is a former gateway to the city and a tax collection point as well as a defensive outpost. A marvel of medieval defensive architecture. The barbican is a pretty unique building and a picturesque one too. I like the picturesque little towers that ring its perimeter. You can buy tickets and visit the interior or just admire it from the outside.
Lorenzo Manoni (18 months ago)
Wonderful entrance to the old city. Strongly recommended to visit these places with a tourist guide to get all the energy of this magic city.
adrian m (Minimogul) (2 years ago)
Major landmark, & the primary entry point into Old Town Krakow, historically. Wisely positioned to be intentionally “off center”, so visitors would have to hassle moving their carts & carriages to pass thru the gates. This bought the guards precious minutes to identify who wanted entry, & to assess if there was any threat. Another key landmark, & good “meeting spot”, when you need.
Marcus Hurley (2 years ago)
The Barbican is the most visible remaining part of the city defences, other than Wawel Castle. Entrance is about £2 and includes the small exhibition and wall walk on the city walls. These used to be joined to the barbican but those fortifications have been demolished. You can walk around the courtyard inside and also the two levels of defences although there isn't much to see looking out as trees obscure a lot of the visibility. Inside is a huge amount of information that gives a full history of the barbican and other defences of the city including its last minute preservation. I think we spent about an hour here and it seemed very quiet compared to the number of visitors elsewhere.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week


Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.

Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.

Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.