Bydgoszcz's oldest remaining church is a truly exquisite example of the so-called Vistulan Gothic style, and is, in a word, breathtaking. Parts of the building date back to middle of the 15th century, and the exterior is worthy of more plaudits than many comparable churches, but what really sets this church apart from the rest is its glorious interior.
Those who've visited St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków will recognise the design instantly, and that's hardly surprising as the amazing colours that cover the walls and ceilings are credited to an original idea by none other than Poland's creative genius Stanisław Wyspiański, although the actual design is believed to have been dreamt up by one of Wyspiański's students, Stefan Cybichowski. Painted between 1922 and 1925 by Henryk Jackowski, the polychrome masterpiece has its roots in the modernist ideas of the Młoda Polska(Young Poland) art movement, who aimed to present a truly Polish vision of the world and who did a truly remarkable job of it here. Unmissable, the combination of Gothic architecture, Baroque altars and outrageous colours simply has to be seen to be believed.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.