The New Castle in Hrodna, Belarus is the royal palace of Augustus III of Poland and Stanisław August Poniatowski where the infamous Grodno Sejm took place in 1793.
The royal residence was built on the high bank of the Neman River at a little distance from the Old Hrodna Castle which had suffered great dilapidation in the aftermath of the Swedish occupation in the early 18th century. The two castles are joined by a 300-year-old arch bridge.
The palace compound was designed by Carl Friedrich Pöppelmann. Construction was carried out between 1734 and 1751 under the supervision of several other Saxon architects, including Johann Friedrich Knöbel and Joachim Daniel von Jauch. The palace was completed under the direction of Giuseppe de Sacco in 1789 and remained home for King Stanisław II August until 1797.
Used as a hospital and barracks throughout most of the 19th century, the palace was renovated by the Polish administration in the interwar period. Scarcely anything is left of the original fabric of the castle, whose refined Rococo detailing vanished during World War II. There followed a hasty and rather superficial refurbishing of the palace by the Soviets with a view to making it the headquarters of a local obkom.
A plaque on the wall of the palace commemorates the council of war held in the royal residence by Tadeusz Kościuszko on 30 October 1794.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.