The Great Market Sq is the heart of Zamość's attractive Old Town. This impressive Italianate Renaissance square (exactly 100m by 100m) is dominated by the lofty, mauve town hall and surrounded by colourful arcaded burghers' houses, many adorned with elegant designs (arcades were made compulsory by Jan Zamoyski). Spending time absorbing the beauty at a cafe or sitting on a bench people-watching is one of Zamość's great pleasures.
Originally, all of the houses in the square were topped with decorative parapets, but these were removed in the 1820s; only some have been restored. Each side of the Rynek (bar the northern side, which is dominated by the lofty mauve town hall) has eight houses bisected by two main axes of town; one runs west−east from the palace to the bastion, and the other joins the three market squares north to south.