The St. Paul's Church is a major Gothic Revival architecture building and one of the landmarks of Strasbourg. Built between 1892 and 1897 during the time of the Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen (1870–1918), the church was designed for the Lutheran members of the Imperial German garrison stationed in Strasbourg. In 1919, after the return of Alsace to France, the church was handed over to the Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine and became its second parish church in the town after Bouclier parish.
For the overall design of the church, architect Louis Muller (1842–1898) drew his inspiration from the Elisabeth Church of Marburg, although he did not slavishly copy its design, gracing St. Paul's Church with three large and elaborate rose windows modelled on the (smaller scaled) rose window adorning the façade of St. Thomas' Church. The 20 m high nave was originally supposed to have four bays instead of three and thus the building to be 5 m longer and shaped like a Latin cross; but because of excessive costs due to technical difficulties with the foundations, it was shortened to a Greek cross. Thanks to its spires rising up to 76 m and its spectacular location at the southern extremity of an island in the middle of the largest section of the Ill River, the church can be seen from far away.
The church furnishings were damaged from British and American bombing raids in August 1944, as well as, as far as the stained glass windows are concerned, from a violent hailstorm in 1958, incidentally the same hailstorm that destroyed most of the Botanical Garden's historical greenhouses. The most outstanding feature inside is the main tribune pipe organ of 1897 (modified in 1934 and restored several times since). This is, by the number of pipes and registers as well as by the sheer size of the organ case, one of the largest instruments in Alsace and most probably Eastern France. In 1976, a second pipe organ was installed in the transept.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.