Gniezno received its city charter in 1285, and as with all towns the action came firmly centred around the market square (Rynek). The great fire of Gniezno in 1819 gutted this area, and most buildings have been rebuilt since that day. Look closely and you’ll see red bricks marking what once formed the town perimeter, as well as nameplates dedicated to the cities and firms who have funded more recent restoration work. The little pyramid structures denote where the town gates once were. What remains of the old city walls can be found south of the Rynek close to ul. Słomianki and the Holy Trinity Church. You’ll notice religious buildings at every turn, though predictably none representing the Jewish faith; the town's one synagogue suffered a fiery fate after a high-ranking Nazi official broke his leg while clambering up it in a post-party alcoholic stupor. Infuriated by his misfortune the budding fascist ordered the building's destruction. In recent years the town's finest moment came when the Congress of Gniezno was held here in 2000. The leaders of Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia met in Gniezno to celebrate the town millennium, and in a symbol of unity planted five oak trees in the ‘reconciliation valley’ running north of the Rynek. The German chancellor later dined in the restaurant of the Hotel Pietrak (itself a former vodka factory), and diners have the opportunity to order exactly what he ate.