St. Maurice Church is one the most precious buildings of the late Gothic style in Moravia. The three-naved structure has a cross vaulting dating from the middle of the 14th century. A more advanced net vault may be seen in the presbytery.
Two asymmetric prismatic towers were built on the western facade. In the western part of the church there is a unique double spiral staircase.
The real gem is the late Gothic sculpture of the 15th century, Christ on the Mount of Olives, located in the interior.
On the northern wall of the church, there is the Renaissance burial chapel of the Edelmann family. After a fire in 1709, the interior was redecorated in the Baroque style; Loretta Chapel and All Souls Chapel were added. Painters Jan Kryštof Handke, Karel Josef Haringer and Karel Moravec and sculptors Filip Sattler, Jan Sturmer and Jiří Antonín Heinz took part in the Baroque adaptations of the interior.
Maurice‘s organ, the largest organ in Central Europe and the eighth largest in Europe, were made by Master Michael Engler in 1745. It was decorated by the sculptor Philip Sattler and the wood-carver Jan Jiří Huckh. The original Baroque instrument with three keyboards underwent a renovation in the sixties of the 20th century.At that time a modern instrument was added, with 5 keyboards. Now the organ has 135 registers and 10,400 pipes.
In the mid 19th century, the church was equipped with new historicist furniture and underwent re-gothization in the years 1869-1908. The main altar is decorated with a Neo-Gothic retable from the mid 19th century.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.