Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site is created to protect the industrial landscape around Lake Heddalsvatnet. The landscape is centered around the plant built by the Norsk Hydro to produce fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. The complex also includes hydroelectric power plants, transport systems, including railways, transmission lines and factories, and workers' accomodation and social institutions in the towns of Notodden and Rjukan.
In the 1900s, Norway experienced rapid industrial development through the availability of cheap hydroelectric power. Kristian Birkeland developed a method to extract nitrogen from the air, which, after an initial trial in Notodden in 1907, looked superior to existing technologies. Nitrogen was needed to produce fertilizers. Norsk Hydro was founded in 1905, and industrial development began in the Eastern Telemark region, previously an underdeveloped and underpopulated agricultural area. To produce fertilizers, it was essential to build factories, power stations, infrastructure for workers, as well as facilities for exporting the production. The fertilizers, artificial salpetre, eventually surpasses the Chilean naturally mined salpeter, at the time the most widely used fertilizer.
At the beginning of construction, in 1907, the power was provided by the Svelgfoss Hydroelectric Power Station, which at the time was the largest in Europe and the second larges at the world. The station is still in operation. Subsequently, two more station were built. Vemork, built on a waterfall near Rjukan, in 1911 was the largest power station in the world. A plant producing heavy water and most famous for the 1943 sabotage events (Operation Gunnerside) was built nearby. The original building of the station has been destroyed, but the station is in operation. Another power plant, Såheim Hydroelectric Power Station, started operation in Rjukan in 1915. The building survived but the station operates elsewhere.
One of the 36 towers of the salpetre factory's towerhouse, which was in operation between 1911 and the 1980s, has been conserved and is protected as a cultural monument.
In 1925, 80% of all apartments in Rjukan (1230 in total) were controlled by the Norsk Hydro. red brick apartment buildings dominated, others were houses with individual gardens.
The site was placed on the tentative World Heritage list on 26 November 2011 together with the Odda–Tyssedal Industrial Heritage Site. In 2015 it was placed on the World Heritage list.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.