According to an inscription found next to the eastern town gate of Emona, on the site of the present Trg francoske revolucije square, the Roman town walls were built between 14 and 15 AD. The rectangular-shaped walls surrounding the town centre measured 2.4 metres wide and from 6 to 8 metres high. They included at least 26 towers and four main gates. The towers were erected at equal distances along the length of the walls and next to the town's side gates as extensions of Emona's roads. On all sides except the east, which was naturally protected by a slope descending towards the Ljubljanica river, the town was additionally protected by a double moat.
The wall shell was built from carved stone blocks bound with mortar and filled with a conglomerate of river pebbles, small rocks, sand and lime. The wall structure was so solid and robust that certain parts of the wall survived for as long as 2,000 years. The inner structure of the wall is visible in the Mirje suburb, the location of the part of the walls which stood to the west of the main southern gate of Emona. For security reasons some of the side gates had been walled up already in Roman times to ward off attacks from barbarian tribes. One of the surviving walled-up gates can be seen in the western part of the walls in Mirje.
In the 1930s, the town wall complex in Mirje was restored to a design by the architect Jože Plečnik. His additions to the surviving Roman walls include a stone pyramid, upward extensions of the walls, the gates to the wall complex, an arched vault covered in stone remains from nearby Roman buildings, and a park inside the walls. Also the colonnade next to the main southern gate is of non-Roman origin. The walls were renovated in the 1990s.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.