The Buchlov royal castle was built in the first half of the 13th century, but archaeological finds suggest that the area around Buchlov castle was settled in the oldest periods of civilization.
The first castle was created with two massive prismatic towers situated on opposite parts of a rocky plateau. A high palace on the southern part of the yard was built at the same time and it was surrounded by a wall. The second construction period occurred in the 1370s. Another tower was built and on the second floor of this tower there was a chapel that held the most valuable objects of early Gothic architecture of the day.
The chapel was destroyed and then abandoned when Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus captured the castle in the second half of the 15th century. It was replaced by two large rooms serving as store and depository. And although the castle was a permanent possession of a king until the 16th century, it was often given in pawn to aristocratic clans. Nobles of Cimburk owned it at the end of the 15th century. At that time a representative chivalric hall was built. In the year 1511 the castle was given to a private holder, and from the 16th to 18th century various Moravian clans changed its ownership. The most important were the nobles of Žerotín, Zástřizl and Petřvald families. Constructional work continued in Renaissance style. Some parts of the castle were added in baroque style. However, in 1701, the Buchlovice Castle was finished and in 1751 the owners, the Berchtold noble family, occupied it for more than two centuries.
A family museum was built in the castle thanks to the brothers Leopold Berchtold and Bedřich Berchtold. Leopold Berchtold, who was foreign minister of Austria-Hungary at the beginning of World War I. He was buried at Buchlau after his death in November 1942. In 1945, after the end of World War II, the castle was confiscated on the bases of Beneš decrees and became property of the Czechoslovak state. Later it was added to the list of national cultural monuments. Nowadays it is open to public, and many cultural programs are held each year.
Saint Barbara’s Chapel also called Barborka came into existence in the 13th century, and it was used as a funeral crypt for holders of a manor of Buchlov. Later it was rebuilt and finished in the year 1672. It is built in early baroque style on a cruciform plan with a central cupola. It is one kilometer away from Buchlov castle. Pilgrimage divine services are held to this day.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.