Although the official date of the Dussen castle’s establishment was during the 13th century, there was likely a fortified house on the property long before the present-day castle. The castle’s dungeon was built in 1330 by John VI of Heusden and in 1387, permission was granted to extend the modest keep into a real castle. In 1418, the castle was passed down to Arent’s son. Just three years later, the castle would be severely damaged by St. Elizabeth’s flood. Parts of the towers and a few of the basements were the only that remained of the original structure.
It would be 50 years before the castle would be restored to its former glory. After exchanging hands a few times, it would be Jan van der Dussen V that would eventually rebuild the castle between 1473 and 1474. After his death, the castle was passed down to his son, Floris II van der Dussen. Floris then passed the castle down to his son, Jan van der Dussen VI, but he would die childless. The castle was then put in the hands of Jan’s sister Cornelia. During the next two hundred years, the castle would be remodeled in Tuscan style and also have a west wing added. Both towers were also improved.
In the early 1900s, a chapel was added. In 1931, the castle was put up for sale with plans for the structure to be demolished. The municipality stepped in, purchased the property and began restoration work. Unfortunately, the castle would become severely damaged in 1944 during World War II. In 1980, renovations were once again performed.
Today, Dussen Castle serves primarily as an event venue, but guided tours are offered by the Friends of Castle Dussen Foundation. Information on touring dates, hours and costs can be found on the Friends of Castle Dussen Foundation website. The castle is still surrounded by its original 14th century moat and includes three residential wings that surround the courtyard. While not available to tour, the vaulted cellar dates all the way back to 1387.
Weddings and business meetings are the most popular events held at the castle. The castle can accommodate up to 300 guests and the castle’s staff can also help with the planning process. Dussen Castle offers a complete package, with catering available for both small and large events.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.