Most of the streets are narrow and crooked, and the majority of the houses have their gables turned towards the street.
The streets are narrow, and the houses are mostly picturesque old structures, built of wood, with many quaint gables and dark archways.
The most magnificent part of the exterior and indeed the finest polychrome monument in existence is the west façade, built of richlysculptured marble from the designs of Lorenzo Maitani of Siena, and divided into three gables with intervening pinnacles, closely resembling the front of Siena cathedral, of which it is a reproduction, with some improvements.
There are several quaint old houses, with high gables, in the market-place, in the middle of which stand a Roland column, of about 1445, and a bronze figure known as the Butterjungfer (butter-girl), of uncertain origin and meaning, but now regarded as the palladium of the town.
Its subject, which is of high historical value as a record of costume, represents the translation of the body of St Mark, and gives us a view of the west façade of the church as it was at the beginning of the 13th century before the addition of the ogee gables, with alternating crockets and statues, and the intermediate pinnacled canopies placed between the five great arches of the upper storey.