The Traditional Commercial Space of "Krakidaly"

ID: 20


The area in front of the Krakivska gate was used for trade from the early medieval times. It was through this area that goods imported via Krakow and Volhyn roads were brought to the city. The Jewish quarter, which was located on one side of the area, gradually became a part of this large market place as well. In the nineteenth century the Krakivskyi market with the surrounding "Jewish" quarters was a huge shopping complex, whose different parts / street traditionally specialized in different kinds of goods. The "Krakidały," as this important place was called by Lviv residents, operated and grew until the mid-twentieth century. As Witold Szolginia, a Lviv Polish writer, recalls, in interwar Lviv "the 'Krakidały' was called, at least nowadays, not only the elongated ​​Krakowska square, stretching from the end of Hetmańska street to the end of Krakowska street, leading here from the Rynok Square, but also a much broader space toward the north, covering a group of other squares and a web of streets, lanes, alleys, courtyards, and passages in the dense housing of the oldest, in its foundations, part of the old city" (Szolginia, 2011).

The "Krakidały" were divided into smaller markets. In the early twentieth century Adam Krajewski, a Lviv historian, described one of the "Krakidały's" subspaces, the Opałki marketplace, located to the north of the Krakowska square on the bank of the Poltva. Cheap cloth and different textile products were mostly sold there. "It was chiefly servants and housewives from the suburbs who went shopping there. No one was interested in brand names or fashion style; cheap things were good things" (Krajewski, 1909, 46). The farther north, the worse and less pretentious were the vendors' counters and the buyers' requirements. In the Sv. Teodora square, the so-called tandeta, or a junk market, functioned for a long time; in the nineteenth century it was moved still further, to the Misjonarzów square, where it was set against the railway track.

In the second half of the nineteenth century the Krakivskyi market became the first model trading place, organized on the initiative of the local authorities. In 1876, on the Krakivska square, a Viennese company constructed a large metal pavilion, equipped with a ventilation system.

The Krakivskyi market began to radically change after the establishment of the Soviet rule, which had a hostile attitude towards spontaneous trade, calling it illegal speculation. In 1944 the Rynok square's market was moved to the Sv. Teodora square. The spontaneous trade on the "Krakidaly" area was strongly suppressed, only the old Krakivskyi market itself was tolerated. However, the large food-and-clothing market, which stretched from the Opera Theater to the Sv. Teodora square, existed for many more years, since trade was the only way of earning some money for many thousands of Lviv residents. Only in the late 1950s, the authorities "regulated" the commercial space of the "Krakidały" quite resolutely. The food market, which functioned on the Sv. Teodora square, was moved to the old Jewish cemetery's territory in the neighbourhood of Kleparivska street (the collective farmers' "Central Market" functioned there from 1947), inheriting from the "Krakidały" the name of the "Krakivskyi market." The flea market was moved from the Krakivska square to the stadium "Torpedo," situated on Zolota street. On the square, there were now only a few plywood commercial kiosks, known under the collective name of the "Blue Danube" (Львів повсякденний, 2009, 63–64). In the 1990s a new market "Dobrobut" appeared there, which expanded considerably, continuing the tradition of the "Krakidały."

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