The Fraeylemaborg was one of the most important borg in the province of Groningen. These strong houses or keeps were built in the Middle Ages to store harvests and to protect their produce from robbers. Besides churches, these structures were the only buildings that used durable stone and masonry. In due time they grew to become centres of power and wealth. The Fraeylemaborg is located in the middle of the town of Slochteren which upon its discovery in 1959 gave its name to the largest gasfield in the world.
In 1475 there was already a farm with the name Frealemaheerd. The building originates from the 16th century. The left wing was built in the 17th century. In 1680 the borg was sold by Evert Rengers, son of the former lord of the manor, because of his family debts. It was bought by Henric Piccardt (married to Anna Elizabeth Rengers, Evert's sister), who borrowed the necessary funds from Stadtholder William III. Piccardt extensively rebuilt the borg and he also landscaped a huge formal garden in the style of Louis XIV's France. After Piccardt's death the borg fell into disrepair. In 1781 the Fraeylemaborg was sold to Hendrik de Sandra Veldman. He rebuilt it into the shape it has today. Among his innovations was the removal of two towers which had graced the front square.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.