Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga was designed by the German architect Roberto Frassinelli and built between 1877 and 1901 by architect Federico Aparici y Soriano. It is a Neo-Romanesque church made entirely of pink limestone.
In 1777 a fire destroyed the old temple, which stood adjacent to the Holy Cave where Our Lady of Covadonga is revered. It was then decided to raise a new church as a monumental sanctuary, raising donations from all of Spain; the plan was opposed by the local council, as the canons wanted to rebuild the temple of the Holy Cave and build an ambitious sanctuary that had once been designed by Ventura Rodríguez, but never completed.
One century later, the project was resumed by King Alfonso XII of Spain, who was interested in completing this work. The classic design of Ventura Rodríguez was very difficult and expensive and was replaced by a new neo-Medieval design.
This new project was devised by Roberto Frassinelli, known as The German of Corao, who was more an artist than architect, and was replaced by Federico Aparici y Soriano, who studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. Despite this decision, Frassinelli could direct the works.References:
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.