The Cracow Gate, one of Lublin’s top landmarks, was built as a part of the city walls in the 14th c. The gate owes its name to the historic royal route leading from Cracow, via Lublin to Vilnius. It served as a defensive structure, an observation tower for the fire rescue, and a residence of the clock-master operating the clock. The gate also had a trumpeter who would play a bugle call.
The oldest, Gothic part of the gate was built from limestone and bricks, whereas the two-storey extension from vitrified bricks. The octagonal, plastered clock tower and the foregate were erected in the mid 16th c. The gate is crowned with a Baroque cupola with a monogram ‘SAR’ (Stanislaus Augustus Rex) and a date – 1782, added during the reconstruction works supervised by Dominic Merlini.
The present form of the Cracow Gate was achieved after renovation works in the years 1959-1964, which restored the original appearance of the gate and adapted its interiors for the needs of the Lublin History Museum.