Cloth hall
A cloth hall or linen hall is a historic building located in the centre of main marketplaces of European towns. They contained trading stalls, particularly for the selling of cloth as well as leather, wax and salt, including exotic imports such as spices and silk. They were built from mediaeval times until the 17th century.

In Poland, the most famous example of an existing cloth hall building is the Sukiennice
The Renaissance Sukiennice in Kraków, Poland, is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the Main Market Square in the Kraków Old Town . It was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter...

 in Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 style, though they also formerly existed in Poznań
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

 (at the Old Market Square), in Wrocław (at the site of the street today called ul. Sukiennice), and in Toruń
Toruń is an ancient city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population is more than 205,934 as of June 2009. Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus....

. Examples of German Gewandhäuser can be found in the towns of Brunswick
Braunschweig , is a city of 247,400 people, located in the federal-state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located north of the Harz mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker river, which connects to the North Sea via the rivers Aller and Weser....

, Zwickau
Zwickau in Germany, former seat of the government of the south-western region of the Free State of Saxony, belongs to an industrial and economical core region. Nowadays it is the capital city of the district of Zwickau...

 and Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 (the last now rebuilt as the Gewandhaus
Gewandhaus is a concert hall in Leipzig, Germany. Today's hall is the third to bear this name; like the second, it is noted for its fine acoustics. The first Gewandhaus was built in 1781 by architect Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe. The second opened on 11 December 1884, and was destroyed in the...

 concert hall).

Examples in Belgium include the Ypres Lakenhal
Cloth Hall, Ypres
The Cloth Hall , of Ypres, Belgium, was one of the largest commercial buildings of the Middle Ages, when it served as the main market and warehouse for the Flemish city's prosperous cloth industry. The original structure, erected mainly in the 13th century and completed 1304, lay in ruins after...

, as well as those of Bruges
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country....

, Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

 and Tournai
Tournai is a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the province of Hainaut....

. The Linen-hall at Leuven is in an early-Gothic style, with baroque addition, and used today as the University Hall. In Ireland, Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 once had the White Linen Hall, and there were linen halls in other towns such as Castlebar
Castlebar is the county town of, and at the centre of, County Mayo in Ireland. It is Mayo's largest town by population. The town's population exploded in the late 1990s, increasing by one-third in just six years, though this massive growth has slowed down greatly in recent years...

 and Clonakilty
Clonakilty , often referred to by locals simply as Clon, is a small town on the N71 national secondary road in West County Cork, Ireland, approximately 45 minutes away by road to the west of Cork City. The town is on the southern coast of the island, and is surrounded by hilly country devoted...

. In Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, the city's old square is anchored by a Saluhallen market hall.

See also

  • Drapers' Hall, London
  • Halifax Piece Hall
    Halifax Piece Hall
    The Halifax Piece Hall is a building in the town centre of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, originally built as a sales centre for woollen handloom weavers. It opened on 1 January 1779, with over 300 separate rooms arranged around a central courtyard. The term piece refers to pieces of cloth that...

    , Halifax, England
  • In Flanders Fields Museum
    In Flanders Fields Museum
    The In Flanders' Fields Museum is devoted to the study of World War I and occupies the second floor of the Cloth Hall, Ypres in Belgium. The building was virtually destroyed by artillery fire during the Battles of Ypres and has been reconstructed. The curator, Piet Chielens, is a World War I...

  • White Linen Hall
    Linen Quarter, Belfast
    Linen Quarter is the area of Belfast south of Belfast City Hall bounded by Donegall Square South, Bedford Street, Ormeau Avenue and Cromac Street...

    , Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal
    Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal
    Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal is a city museum of fine arts in Leiden, the Netherlands. The museum hosts a collection of altarpieces and religious artifacts from before the Protestant Revolution that were formally ceded to the state in 1572, but it is mainly of interest for its collection of...

    , Leiden, the Netherlands
  • White Cloth Hall, Leeds, England
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