The Old Parish Church of Gries contains several precious works of art. Some parts of the original Romanesque church are still preserved, as parts of the walls of the tower and nave. There has probably been a settlement in the area since Roman times.
The Gothic, polygonal choir was built in 1414. During the course of the 16th century the Romanesque church was rebuilt. Star-shaped vaults were inserted in the nave, and in 1529 a church porch, also with star-shaped vaults, were built. The tower also received its pointed spire at this time. The chapel dedicated to Saint Erasmus was finished already in 1519.
In 1788, the church lost its position as parish church of Gries. The Muri-Gries Abbey from now on instead served this purpose. The church is surrounded by the old cemetery of the Parish, which since 1922 is closed for new graves. Among the people buried here, Austrian admiral and explorer Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair is among the more well-known.
The old parish church contains two pieces of art of high value. The one is a Romanesque crucifix, dating from circa 1200 and probably made abroad (possibly northern France)
The other is a late Gothic, carved wooden altarpiece made by Michael Pacher. Pacher made the altarpiece between 1471 and 1475. During the Baroque era, the altarpiece was considered out of date and replaced with a Baroque high altar. Pacher's altarpiece was placed in the St. Erasmus' chapel of the church. It has remained there since; it has however lost its wings, its predella, its top and other details.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.