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:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.