The Momjan castle, presently dilapidated and ivy-grown, can hardly evoke the power and wealth of the life that characterized it. It was built above the abyss overlooking the Dragonja River, today a border between Croatia and Slovenia. Located at 280 meters above the sea level, it dominates the Dragonja valley, divided from it by the Poganja brook.
Momjan was first mentioned in 1035. The Patriarch of Aquileia was given a rule over it by the deed of gift in 1102. The erection of the fortress began in the first half of the 13th century, when it was given by the Patriarch to the Counts of Devin. The owners of Momjan, the family of Woscalc from Devin and sons, were known for their fickleness and expressed their affiliation depending on interests. Fitting nicely into this feature was their constant desire to gain political functions. They were known for their disputes and conflicts with neighbours, and often fought and changed sides between the Counts of Gorizia and Patriarchs of Aquileia. Almost a cursed town, it constantly changed owners, the property was mortgaged, returned, but always important and mentioned. Thus, it was ruled by the regents appointed by Pietrapelosa and the Counts of Gorizia.
In 1548, the castle was bought by Simone Rota, of the Rota family from Bergamo, who moved to Piran just before purchasing it. Rota gave the castle the trapezoid shape with a square tower, which was renovated as residential quarters. It erected the chapel of St. Stephen and built a new stone bridge. Until it was abandoned in 1835, the castle had a residential function, after which it fell into decay as the Counts of Rota moved to a more comfortable palace in the village. As the castle was long owned by the Rota family, it is known today as the Rota Castle. Only the ruins of the castle remained as reminder of the Momjan's glorious past.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.