The town of Zamość (zah-moshch) is unique in Poland as an almost 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-perfect main square and the impressive fortifications that surround the Old Town centre.
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.