Nørre Alslev Church dates from at least 1308, a date found on its early frescos. Built in the Early Gothic style and painted pink according to local tradition, it is best known for its fresco of the death dance. In the Middle Ages, the church was dedicated to St Nicholas. The Early Gothic chancel and nave are built of brick on a 60 cm high sloping foundation. The chancel, with a three-sided end, has a stepped frieze. The tower with its stepped gable and the porch are Late Gothic.
The chancel has a dome-shaped vault with semicircular ribs on dwarf columns. The chancel arch is pointed while the nave has a humped vault with clover-shaped ribs and webbing. The present vault has possibly been supported by additional masonry after a fall as evidence of a higher vault has been found.
The recently restored altarpiece is the work of Jørgen Ringnis (1653). The central panel contains an alabaster relief by Henry Luckow-Nielsen (1948). The pulpit (1643) is also made by Ringis.
Nørre Alslev Church has frescos from four different periods. They have been restored on several occasions, first by Jacob Kornerup (1825–1913) who discovered them in 1895, then in 1911 by Eigil Rothe (1868–1929) and finally by Harald Borre (1891–1964) in 1941. Those in the apse date from the beginning of the 14th century, one apparently dated 1308. The Majestas Domini over the chancel arch is from c. 1350. Rothe discoved a number of frescos in the nave which were from around 1400 but they were again covered with whitewash in view of their fragile condition. Around 1500, the entire nave was decorated with frescos by the Elmelunde Master and his workshop but many of those discovered have again been whitewashed.
The most interesting of the Elmelunde frescos is the one on the west wall depicting the death dance. While the death dance (which stems from the plague) can be seen in many church decorations across Europe, it is unusual in Denmark, the only other occurrences being in Egtved and Jungshoved. Given the limited space, the fresco in Nørre Alslev is somewhat simplified but it includes a king, a bishop, a lord and a peasant. Interestingly, unlike the skeletons often represented in the death dance, the figures here are all fully clothed.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.