Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as Forte Sant'Angelo, is in good condition and is open to the public. It is located on the top of Monte Sant'Angelo, overlooking the city to the north and its harbour to the south. Several archaeological sites, including remains of a Hellenistic settlement, can be found in the area.
The first fortification to be built on Monte Sant'Angelo was a watchtower, which was constructed between 1583 and 1585 on the orders of Viceroy Marcantonio Colonna. The tower was designed by the military engineer Camillo Camilliani.
In 1615, Hernando Petigno, the general commander of the Royal Cavalry of Sicily and Military Governor of Syracuse, began building a fort on the site, incorporating the tower as the fort's keep. Construction was halted, but it was resumed in 1636 and completed in 1640 under the direction of Serpione Cottone, Marquis d'Altamura.
The fort never fired its guns in anger, and was decommissioned in the 19th century. It was a telegraph station between 1849 and 1856. In the early 20th century, it became a lighthouse. It was severely damaged during the Allied invasion of Sicily on 10 July 1943, when it was bombarded by USS Brooklyn and USS Buck. The damaged parts of the fort were later repaired.
The lighthouse in Castel Sant'Angelo closed in 1965, and the fort was abandoned. Today, the fort is in good condition and is open to the public.
The fort has a triangular shape, with the 16th century tower serving as its keep. The fort is built in the Baroque style, and it includes a central courtyard, barracks, stables and warehouses. Access to the fort was only allowed through a drawbridge over a moat. The fort also contained a chapel, but this no longer exists.
The Cloth Hall in Kraków dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Kraków Old Town (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978).
The hall was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter. During its golden age in the 15th century, the hall was the source of a variety of exotic imports from the east – spices, silk, leather and wax – while Kraków itself exported textiles, lead, and salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Kraków was Poland's capital city and was among the largest cities in Europe already from before the time of the Renaissance. However, its decline started with the move of the capital to Warsaw in the very end of the 16th century. The city's decline was hastened by wars and politics leading to the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century. By the time of the architectural restoration proposed for the cloth hall in 1870 under Austrian rule, much of the historic city center was decrepit. A change in political and economic fortunes for the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria ushered in a revival due to newly established Legislative Assembly or Sejm of the Land. The successful renovation of the Cloth Hall, based on design by Tomasz Pryliński and supervised by Mayor Mikołaj Zyblikiewicz, Sejm Marshal, was one of the most notable achievements of this period.
The hall has hosted many distinguished guests over the centuries and is still used to entertain monarchs and dignitaries, such as Charles, Prince of Wales and Emperor Akihito of Japan, who was welcomed here in 2002. In the past, balls were held here, most notably after Prince Józef Poniatowski had briefly liberated the city from the Austrians in 1809. Aside from its history and cultural value, the hall still is still used as a center of commerce.
On the upper floor of the hall is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum, Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture, in four grand exhibition halls arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch. The museum was upgraded in 2010 with new technical equipment, storerooms, service spaces as well as improved thematic layout for the display.
The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art was a major cultural venue from the moment it opened on October 7, 1879. It features late Baroque, Rococo, and Classicist 18th-century portraits and battle scenes by Polish and foreign pre-Romantics.