The Order of Brothers of the German House Saint Mary In Jerusalem took possession on the land of Gniew in 1283. Based on the law of Che³mno in 1297 the city stood next to the Teutonic castle built to the pattern of convent castles. The monumental silhouette along with the church of St. Nicholas is still constitute the characteristic dominant of the southern panorama of Gniew.
The Gniew Castle was the most powerful claim of the Teutonic Order on the left bank of the Vistula. Built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, it was the home of the Knights commanders, and in the times of Poland, when the town belonged to Poland, it was a mayor"s seat. The castle was rebuilt in several times (granary, prison) and eventually burned in the Great Fire in 1921.
In the years 1968-1974, the FAMA Ship Machinery Works in Gniew undertook the first stage of the reconstruction of the castle, completed by laying the ceiling over the top storey, roofing the building and covering the roof with ceramic tiles. Under the public works in 1992, the Council of the Town and Commune of Gniew began the second stage of renovation including the construction of the ceiling in the west and east wings, adaptation of the interior and reconstruction of the chapel as well as adaptation of the Castle Hill to serve tourism purposes. Currnetly the Gniew castle is owned by the corporation of castles 'Zamek Gniew'.
Fortress also houses branch of the Archaeological Museum in Gdansk, Husar"s banner under the auspices of Marshal of Pomeranian Voivodeship, Yellow infantry regiment of Adolfusa Gustawusa II, Schola Cantorum Gymevensis Choir, Hunting Center and the Military History Society of the brotherhood of Gdansk. Since 1992, the castle has been used as a venue for spectacles, historical shows and chivalric tournaments. Today it is recognized as one of the major centers for promoting and maintaining the medieval tradition and heritage in Poland. Throughout the year are organized events, conferences, conventions, scientific symposia, banquets, and historical feasts.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.