The Château du Verduron owes its original fame to Louis Blouin, who held the prominent position of head valet in the court of Louis XIV of France from 1704 until 1715. Other distinguished owners of the property included Victorien Sardou, the French dramatist and one-time mayor of the Parisian suburb of Marly-le-Roi.
The history of this property is rich and complex. In the Middle Ages, the current site of the Château du Verduron was occupied by the lords of the Montmorency family. The property passed through a succession of owners.
Prior to 1726, the property was occupied by the daughter of Léon Bierry and her husband, named Fresson, who was an attorney serving in the parliament of Versailles. The couple apparently made substantial additions to the existing property. In 1722, Fresson’s heirs sold the domain to César-Pierre Landais de Soisel, Louis XIV’s councilor and secretary. He in turn provided a lifetime lease on the property to Blouin in 1726.
Details of the architectural history of the Château du Verduron are also somewhat unclear. The original core of the building dates from 1665, and is attributed to a certain Guillaume, a well-off Parisian. This original structure was initially modified when occupied by the Fressons.
Initially a simple one-story structure, it passed through a succession of owners following its original construction. In the early 2000s, it was purchased by SCI Le Verduron. The company commissioned COGEMAD to completely restore the building.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.