Around 1300, Rosendael Castle came into the hands of the counts and later dukes of Gelre. Of the 20 castles in the dukedom, Rosendael was the favourite of many dukes, because of its beautiful location on the edge of the Veluwe moraine.
The large medieval complex contained a forecourt, a main fortress and a substantial donjon. Only the round donjon has survived the ravages of time. It has walls of up to 4 metres thick and was the last refuge in the event of siege for the duke and his family. Although it is the highest tower of its kind in the Netherlands, it was originally twice as high.
The ducal family resided regularly at the castle until the 16th century. But then the tide turned. In 1502, Philip the Handsome captured the city of Arnhem. Duke Charles of Gelre was humiliated in his own castle of Rosendael by Philip. Charles was forced to make peace and was exiled from Gelre. The incident became known as 'the prostration of Rosendael'.
When Philip died in 1506, Charles managed to regain the dukedom of Gelre at great financial expense. As a result, in 1516 he was forced to mortgage his beloved castle and even to sell it 20 years later. He died a few years afterwards and the dukedom soon lost its independence. Rosendael Castle came into the hands of various noble families, who occupied it for almost 400 years.
In 1722 a square house was built abutting the big tower. The side wing and coach house were built a century later. Beautiful gardens were laid out around these, and the famous French landscape gardener Daniel Marot designed the shell gallery, the trick fountains and the tea pavilion, all of which have been preserved. They give the austere medieval castle the character of a peaceful country house.
During the war, Rosendael was hit hard a number of times. It ceased to be a private residence in 1977 when Baron van Pallandt died. The castle was fully restored in the nineteen-eighties and opened to the public.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.