Ystad is reknown all over the country for its medieval town centre, which has remained intact, and for the way its half-timbered houses have carefully been preserved. The medieval inheritance is manifested in the red brick architecture of its churches, the Franciscan Monastery and the three secular buildings which remain from the period.
It is still possible today to be able to use the town maps dating from the early seventeenth century.
Town planners through the ages have always been aware of and respected the intimate scale of the towns, buildings and streets. Many of the characteristic merchant yards in Ystad still exist among the living quarters and as complete street blocks.