How to found a city?
New cities in Central and Eastern Europe were most often founded under the so-called German law, which was created in Magdeburg already in the 11th century.
The Magdeburg Law soon became a model for numerous cities in Silesia, the Wielkopolska Region and even Ruthenia. Among its provisions was the one which said that a city should comprise of a central market square with a city hall and a network of streets leading to it.
This law was also implemented in Poznań thanks to the settlers who had seen it work first hand in the cities founded earlier than Poznań. The city space as well as the functioning of the local government and the judicial system were organised according to the Magdeburg model. Citizens were granted privileges and charged with duties towards the ruler. The law was drawn up in such a way as to bring benefit for all parties: the local community, German settlers and the duke.
Borrowing the Magdeburg Law guaranteed that Poznań had a solid legal framework which was effective from the Middle Ages until the end of 18th century.
Illustration: Traktat prawniczy Ius Municipale, to jest Parwo Mieyskie Maydeburskie z poznańskiej pracowni Jana Wolraba młodszego (1610 r.), domena publiczna