The town of Zamość (zah-moshch) is unique in Poland as a nearly perfectly preserved example of Renaissance town planning, as practised in the 16th century. Zamość was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1992, and an inflow of redevelopment funds since has rejuvenated the town's postcard-ready main square and the impressive fortification bastions that surround the centre in all directions.
The town owes its origins to a wealthy Polish nobleman, Jan Zamoyski (1542−1605), who came up with the idea to put a town here in the first place, and to the Paduan architect he hired to realise his dream, Bernando Morando. Zamość wears its Renaissance roots on its sleeve, embracing not one, but two grandiose nicknames: the ‘Pearl of the Renaissance’ and the ‘Padua of the North’. Take your pick.