Płock Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Masovia, is an example of Romanesque architecture. The bishopric in Płock was founded about 1075. The first definite reference to the cathedral is in 1102, when Władysław I Herman was buried there. The present Romanesque cathedral was built after 1129 by prince Bolesław III and Bishop Aleksander of Malonne. This was a rebuilding following a fire and took from 1136 until 1144. It was consecrated in 1144 as the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The original bronze doors of the Romanesque cathedral (now in Velikiy Novgorod) have figurative bas-reliefs depicting the verses of the so-called 'Roman Confession of Faith', and the figure of Alexander of Malonne, bishop of Płock. The doors were made in the Magdeburg workshop about 1150. In the cathedral there is now a bronze replica of the doors, made in the 1980s. In the Royal Chapel on the north side of the cathedral is a marble sarcophagus forming the tomb of two Polish rulers, Władysław I Herman and his son Bolesław III Wrymouth.
Following a major fire in 1530, the building was reconstructed by Bishop Andzej Krzycki as a new Renaissance style church (1531–1535). This was the first large Renaissance style cathedral in Poland, although it reused granite ashlar portions of the Romanesque basilica. The architects were Bernardino de Gianotis from Rome, Giovanni Cini da Siena and Philippo da Fiesole. The layout of the new cathedral was based on the Renaissance basilicas of Rome (Sant'Agostino, Santa Maria del Popolo). However the external architecture remains in the style of North Italian brick churches, more similar to local late Gothic ones in Masovia, and may be the result of rebuilding work about 1560 by Giovanni Battista of Venice, who added the spacious choir and two western towers.
The building was restored in 1903, when the present front elevation facing west and the towers was re-designed by the architect in charge of the restoration, Stefan Szyller. Between the world wars, the interior was decorated with additional frescoes by Władysław Drapiewski and Czesław Idźkiewicz, local student of Józef Mehoffer graduating from the Academy in Kraków.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".