Market Platz (Market Places)
Most people familiar with older European towns will note that there is often a market place that is central to a town. It is a large open space often surrounded by houses and shops. And on certain days merchants would set up their tents in the platz and sell various goods. Here is a picture of tents in the market platz in Konitz, West Prussia taken towards the end of the day.
Villages also had market places although not so large and not necessarily with shops on the edge of the market platz. For example, here is an area formerly a market platz inGross Konarsyzn, Kreis Schlochau.
This area is behind the church so the church spire served as a guide to finding the market. In England, villages without a church would have a stone market cross to mark the spot (I haven't seen this in Poland - yet). Then on a designated day, usually called Market Day, the merchants would arrive, set up shop, and buy and sell goods. Since a village did not generate a lot of purchasing power, the merchants would move from village to village over a cycle of time.
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September 22, 2006