St. George's Abbey was founded between 1002 and 1008 by the Countess Wichburg, the wife of Count Ottwin von Sonnenburg of Pustertal. Wichbirg was the sister of the Archbishop Hartwig. The founder's daughter Hildpurg, a nun in the Nonnberg Benedictine abbey in Salzburg, was ordained as the first abbess, and brought the first nuns with her. Count Ottwin and Countess Wichburg were entombed in the crypt of the convent. In the 12th century the convent was reformed. It was placed under the direction of the abbot Wolford of Admont Abbey in 1122. From the 1170s the convent returned to the suzerainty of Salzburg. There is a record of Ulrich II, Duke of Carinthia making a donation to the monastery on 31 March 1199.
The convent suffered economic difficulties, and had difficulty paying taxes to support the Turkish wars. At one point during the Protestant Reformation the community was reduced to the abbess Dorothea Rumpf and two other nuns. They later received support from the Göss Abbey, including the Abbess Afra von Staudach (1562), which helped renew the community. By 1683 the convent had 31 nuns and 16 lay sisters. It had an apothecary, and cared for as many as 500 invalids each year. The convent also ran a school.
1783 the monastery was dissolved by Emperor Joseph II. In 1788 it was put up for auction. Maximilian Thaddäus von Egger bought it for 163,100 gulden and made the monastery complex the new seat of the Count of Egger. The castle was opened to tourists around the end of the 18th century. In 1934 it was sold to the Missionary Order of Mariannhill. During World War II (1939-45) it served for a while as the seminary of Gurk, then was converted into a military hospital in 1943. The Marianhiller's took the building back in 1948. In 1959 it was purchased by the Diocese of Gurk for use as an Episcopal educational establishment.
Today the former Benedictine convent includes a church where services are still held, an educational establishment run by the diocese, a hotel and seminar facilities.
The convent and the church, with its crypt, are built on stone foundations that date back to Roman times. The north-west wing of the present complex was built in 1546 In the years 1654 to 1658 the monastery was remodeled in the baroque style by the architect Pietro Francesco Carlone. The impressive high altar was probably built in the late 17th century. Parts of the original buildings and the Renaissance arcades in the northern courtyard have been preserved.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.