The Château de Nangis is a modernised castle located in the heart of the town of Nangis. The original name 'La Motte' suggests the motte-and-bailey that indicates the middle-age origin of the place. Fleury (c. 1093-1147), son of the king Philip I of France, is its oldest known lord. In 1245, the castle came into the ownership of the Montmorency family. A well known fortress in 1397, the English inflicted important damage to the castle in 1429. The king Charles VII the Well-Served gave the domain to Denis de Chailly from Chailly-en-Bière as a reward for his help to Jeanne d'Arc. He rebuilt the fortress in 1436.
By marrying Marie de Vères in 1507, Louis de Brichanteau became the new lord; his descendants kept the domain until the French Revolution. Around 1590, Antoine de Brichanteau modernised the residential building. The domain became a marquisate in 1612. The castle was visited by Louis XIV in 1678. When Armand de Brichanteau died in 1742, a distant cousin, the count of Guerchy, became the new marquis. His son, Anne-Louis of Guerchy, the last marquis of Nangis, almost ruined, sold the castle to a Paris notary in 1795, who destroyed two of the three buildings, keeping only the left wing.
The castle was purchased by the city in 1859 and became the town hall. Viewed from the outside, the left wing has not changed much since then. Six paintings in the marriage room are portraits that were classified as historical monuments in May 1909 despite the fact that the building itself is not.
Today, one can still see the moats of the old motte that were then filled with water. The left wing that remains today has two corner towers. One can also see a cylindrical outer wall tower including loopholes.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.