The Church of St.Peter and Paul is one of the best preserved churches in Italy. It was built in the 12th century by Julius of Novara, who was allied with the Romanic army. They decided that they wanted to replace an already existing church with a much bigger one, on the same location. The St. Peter and St. Paul Church was built under the Roman influence and is characterized by a strong Romanesque style. The church features various artworks, including paintings and frescos dedicated to Queen Mary, St.Peter and St.Paul, the patrons of the town.
The Church is located on or near the site of an earlier Roman Temple, dedicated to Minerva, built to celebrate a victory against the Celts, who occupied the cities of Milano and Como.
St.Paul and Peter Church is associated with the myth of St.Jiulius, the founder of the church. The myth tells that Jiulius came with his brother from Greece to evangelize the area close to Orta Lake, and decided to destroy the Temple of Minerva and build the Brebbia Church. The Church has undergone various renovations, including the change of the central nave in the 17th century, which now includes more complex trusses, and the restyling of the artworks.
St. Peter and Paul Church has a typical Romanesque architecture: it is elementary and characterized by three naves and one apse, located at the end of the main nave and orientated to the east. There is a transept that comes out from the secondary naves.
The main nave was originally characterized by a truss, substitued in the 17th century by a vault. This renovation work destabilized the building and because of that it required further structural modifications, which include the addition of tie-rods and metal slabs. These additions still remain visible on the church exterior.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.