Skeppsholmskyrkan is a church on the islet of Skeppsholmen, secularized in 2002. Named after its location, the church was built 1823-1849 to replace a minor wooden church on Blasieholmen destroyed in the devastating fire of 1822. Inaugurated by King Charles XIV John and still officially carrying his name, it was designed by the architect Fredrik Blom as a neoclassical octahedral temple inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, borrowing the coffered ceiling while substituting the oculus for the temple-shaped lantern light. On all sides, the plain white walls restored in 1998 are pierced by portals whose four pillars support semi-circular lunettes. Inside the cruciform exterior, the interior sheet of the wooden double cupola is supported by paired doric columns and rounded arches. Accompanying the painted altarpiece are niches with statues of the apostles and two plaster groups.
The Skeppsholmen parish was discontinued in 1969 when the Navy moved to Muskö, and the church was secularized in 2002. Since May 2009, the building is called Eric Ericsonhallen, named after the Swedish conductor Eric Ericson and is a Concert Hall managed by the Eric Ericson International Choral Centre.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.