Waldenburg castle lies at the summit of the spur that projects sharply from the crest of the mountain on the site of the original 13th century castle, commanding a superb panoramic view over a plain with a radius of almost 160 kilometers. It has been in the possession of the House of Hohenlohe without interruption since 1253. In the 16th and 17th centuries the castle was converted into a royal palace. The palace church, today the parish Church of St. Michael, was erected in 1791. The palace was gutted by fire in 1945. During reconstruction the architects were careful to preserve the outer structure, but much had to be altered inside. In the process, they rediscovered a 65-meter deep well that had been forgotten since the 15th century. Since 1971 the palace has housed the museum 'Siegel aus tausend Jahren' (Seals from a Thousand Years). Here you can enjoy examining approximately 800 seals from the collection of Friedrich Karl I, Prince zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg (1814 – 1884), a Russian lieutenant general and founder of the academic study of seals. In the 'lower archives' can be found the small coin collection with coins and medallions of the House of Hohenlohe. Pewter figure dioramas with scenes from the life of important Hohenlohe lords with their seals and well-illustrated display panels augment the collections.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.