Knock Castle, also known as Caisteal Chamuis is a former stronghold of the MacDonalds. Currently the castle is in ruins; it consists of an old 15th century keep of which one part, a window, remains to some height with traces of later buildings.
The castle was constructed by the Clan MacLeod and later captured by the Clan MacDonald in the late 15th century. Ownership of the castle passed between the two clans several times. It was remodelled in 1596 by the MacDonalds. By 1689 the castle was abandoned and started to decay. Most of the stones were then used for nearby buildings.
It is claimed by tradition that the castle is haunted by a Green Lady, a gruagach - a ghost associated with the fortunes of the family who occupy the castle. The ghost will appear happy if good news is to come; if there is bad news she will weep. The castle is also said to have had a glaistig, a spirit which is said to have a particular concern with caring for the livestock.
There is no way to get to Knock Castle directly by vehicle. There is a private road just off the A851 that leads down toward working farm buildings. The trail to the castle can be found by following the road to a livestock gate. Hidden in the vegetation on the right side of the pathway is a small wooden picket gate covered with lichen. On the other side of the gate is a faint trail that will eventually lead across a river to the castle, passing in front of a very old red-roofed farm building. The easiest approach to the castle is by following the trail upward after passing the farm building. On the right hand side after the farm building are the remains of what appears to be a blacksmith's forge.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.