Korela Fortress, at the town of Priozersk, was founded by the Karelians who named the place Käkisalmi. It was first mentioned in a Novgorodian chronicle of 1143 as Korela. Indeed, archeological digs have revealed a layer belonging to the 12th century. Swedish chronicles first reported of the settlement of Keksholm in 1294. Until the 16th century, the fortress belonged to the Novgorod Republic, followed by Muscovy. Novgorodians built the current stone bastions and towers in 1364 after a fire had destroyed the original wooden fortress in 1360.
During a Swedish-Novgorodian war in 1314, a small Karelian force conquered the fortress from the representatives of Novgorod. They invited Swedes to keep it against Novgorod. However, the Novgorodians managed to reconquer the fortress. The fortress was confirmed as belonging to Novgorod in the treaty of Nöteborg of 1323.
In the 1330s, the Novgorod Republic gave the castle of Korela (and practically the entire Votian fifth, including the forts of Oreshek and Ladoga) to duke Narimantas of Lithuania. In 1383 Korela, Oreshek and Koporye were inherited by Narimantas' son and heir, Patrikas, the forefather of the Galitzine princely clan. Next year the local burghers lodged a complaint about his administration. Patrikas was forced to exchange Korela for Ladoga and Russa. Patrikas occupied his lands in Ingria and Karelia at least from 1383 to 1397. In the year 1408, it is recorded that he settled in Moscow under the protection of Vasili I, together with his younger sons, Georgi and Fyodor, who had grown up in Ingria.
Soon after their seizure of Korela in 1580, the Swedes rebuilt the fortress following a Western European pattern of bastion fortifications. In the Treaty of Teusina of 1595 Sweden however undertook to return Korela to Russia. This was effectuated in 1597. During the subsequent Ingrian War starting 1610, Gustavus Adolphus reinforced Swedish control of the castle and the whole area. During the Time of Troubles, Korela was a prize promised by Vasily IV of Russia to Jacob De la Gardie as part of the Swedish De la Gardie Campaign to assist Russia against the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. They were incorporated with Sweden as Kexholms län in the peace of Stolbova in 1617. The fortress and the region remained with Sweden until Peter the Great captured the fortress during the Great Northern War.
In the mid-18th century, the fortress was turned into a political prison of Imperial Russia. Some participants of the Decembrist Revolt (1825) were confined there.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.