Old City of Zamość - A Pearl of Polish Renaissance
The city was built from the ground up by Jan Zamoyski, the Chancellor and Royal Commander-in-Chief, who intended to create a perfect city and a residence fit for his position. Zamosc was designed to outshine the royal residence in Krakow that Jan Zamoyski greatly disliked. The whole project, including the construction of the city, that was also a mighty fortress, was completed within twenty years, from 1580 to 1600. For his great plan, Zamoyski commissioned an Italian architect from Padua, Bernardo Morando, who became the designer of all the important buildings like the palace, the arsenal, the collegiate church, the town hall and the burgher houses in the market square.
Zamosc is a uniquely urban and architectural complex, quite close to the idea of a "perfect city". It is often referred to as the "Pearl of the Renaissance" as it features buildings of great beauty and historical value. The Old Town Square is dominated by a lofty town hall and lined with arcaded burgher houses. Some of them are richly decorated such as those that belonged to Armenian merchants. The mighty basilica contains some outstanding pieces of art. The Zamoyski Palace and the Academy, that have been adapted to their current functions, have lost a lot of their former splendour. The former fortifications are very impressive, seven metres thick in some places, which surround the Old Town complex. The Old Town of Zamosc has been placed on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List.
Tourists are attracted to Zamosc by its historical monuments, peaceful ambience, cultural events, art galleries and cosy accommodation. Its location in south-eastern Poland, far away from the main tourist routes, ensures true rest and relaxation for its visitors. The attractiveness of its location is much enhanced by the picturesque Roztocze landscape, a real "pearl of nature", that can be found in the neighbourhood of the city. Lublin is not far from Zamosc and is also a city known for its large number of historical monuments.