The Château de Padern was built overlooking the village of Padern on a limestone peak that dominates the Verdouble river running past the village. The paths to reach it are very steep, which made it practically impregnable.
The castle is little known in the area, because it did not play a very important part during the crusade against the Albigensians, unlike the neighbouring castles of Termes, Queribus or Peyrepertuse.
The exact year of construction is not known, but the village of Padern is recorded in 899, when Charles III, known as Charles the Simple, ceded the territory to Lagrasse Abbey, while the latter still belonged to the Counts of Toulouse, and not to the crown of France. The fortification is mentioned for the first time in 1026, and a secondary fortification at the end of the 12th century, placed under the control of the Abbey of Lagrasse.
During the Albigensian Crusade, Chabert de Barbeira, companion in arms of Olivier de Termes, protector of the Cathars and lord of Quéribus, seized the place. After the capture of Quéribus, he negotiated his freedom for the abandonment of the citadels to King Louis IX.
The Abbey of Lagrasse thus recovered the castle, and in 1283, became the official proprietor through a transaction with Philip III of France (Philippe the Bold). The abbey remained the owner until 1579.
At the end of the 16th century, after the Wars of Religion, Pierre de Vic, originally from Girona (Catalonia), acquired the castle and made some additions, though conserving its feudal aspect. In 1706, his descendants resold the whole property to the Abbey of Lagrasse, which abandoned it at the end of the 18th century.
Today the castle is no more that ruins. Not being classified as a monument historique, the site is completely forsaken, and its state worsens day by 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.