The Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas, also known as the Monastery of the Cartuja hosts today The Andalusian Contemporary Art Center (The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo).
Legend holds that the area, in Moorish times, was honeycombed with caves made by potters for ovens and to obtain clay, and that after the capture of the city by Christians in the thirteenth century, an image of the virgin was revealed inside one of the caves, where supposedly it had been hidden. It prompted the construction of a chapel of Santa María de las Cuevas to house the venerated icon. In the 15th century, the archbishop of Seville, aided by the noble family of Medina, helped found a Franciscan monastery at the site. Later constructions were patronized by don Perafán de Ribera (who built the Casa de Pilatos). In the 15th century, monks of the cloistered order of Saint Bruno were housed in the monastery.
Christopher Columbus' remains were first interred at Valladolid, then at the Monastery of the Cartuja by the will of his son Diego. In 1542 the remains were transferred to Colonial Santo Domingo.
During the Napoleonic invasion, the monastery was sacked and used as barracks. After returning in 1812, the monastery was finally vacated with the general closure of monasteries in 1835–36.
Following the confiscation Englishman Charles Pickman acquired the monastery in 1839. Commencing production in 1841, Pickman established innovative manufacturing methods such as importing raw materials, the use of molds, using specialised machinery, mechanical arms and presses, utilising British ceramist experience while employing pottery workers from nearby Triana. The initial success of the factory led to La Cartuja de Sevilla becoming one of the most popular brands in Europe and in Latin American countries. Production continued until 1984. The bottle shaped kilns and tall chimney are the legacy of the ceramics factory.
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.