In medieval Europe there always were villages around the castles in order to recruit men for important personages. These villages were gradually transformed into the cities.
The strange thing is that villages around the castles still have pretty provincial authentic look. But the so-called «free» trade cities, which had their privileges and an extensive trade, boasted each other by trying to show their tall bell tower, City Hall. Such trade cities hadn’t brought this nice medieval appearance to our time. Maybe because of the fact that they were trying to reach the progress.