Cīrava Palace is a national architecture monument included in the list of the culture monuments under state protection. The oldest county administrative documents relating to the subsequent estate are no longer found in publications or extracts from the Baltic German historians archives.
The palace has its roots in a time when the Aizpute and Sakaslejas county belonged to the bishopric of Courland. It was built in 1752 as a hunting palace for the German Baltic baron family von Manteuffel-Szoeges. It was an unimpressive, simple building. In 1868 the palace was rebuilt and expanded in the Tudor–Neo-Gothic style by the project of Teodor Zeiler. Interior elements in the palace are partly preserved, there are ornamental plafonds in some rooms and hearth with marble decorations dating back to beginning of nineteenth century. After this reconstruction, the palace became a quite impressive building with very individual forms and look.
On 16 December 1730 the king confirmed that Otto Friedrich von Behr and his wife Katharina, and their descendants, were the owners of the old Cīrava manor. In 1774 King Stanisław August Poniatowski confirmed Herman Friedrich von Behr and his wife Elizabeth, and their descendants, as the new owners of the estate. In October 1781 the property was inherited by Šarlote Katarīna, and in the summer of 1781 it was acquired by Karl Gothard Ernst von Manteuffel-Szoeges, landlord of Kazdanga Palace.
In the spring of 1921 the estate was nationalized and became part of the Latvian state, which took hold of the manor, some 700 ha. of arable land and 150 ha. of grasslands. From 1922 until 1951 the technical school of forestry (Meža skola) was housed in the palace. Later it served as technical school of agriculture. The last few decades the palace has stood empty and needs renovation jobs. There are some plans to renovate it and transform it to a hotel.
The palace is surrounded by a 19th century landscape park. There is also a decorative pond with two islands and a big collection of trees and bushes in the park. G. Kuffalt, the main gardener of Riga, took part in the creation of the Cīrava Palace park.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.