The Priory Church (Iglesia Mayor Prioral) is documented from 1486 when the building was under construction. It was damaged by an earthquake in the 17th century and was partly rebuilt in the Baroque style. As a result of being constructed in two phases, the church contains both Gothic and Baroque architecture, exemplified in its portals.
The church was built in a Gothic style, although it has baroque and Plateresque elements, as the original structure has been expanded and altered since its construction.
The church has doorways from different periods. One of the entrances, known as the 'Door of Forgiveness', is constructed in the Gothic style and dates from the original construction. The doorway currently used as the main entrance is the 'Sun Portal' (Puerto del Sol), which gives access from the Plaza España to the nave of the Epistle.
The Puerto del Sol was added to the church in the 16th century, probably between 1535 and 1544, and is attributed to Martin Gaínza, an architect who also worked on Seville Cathedral. Its original construction was finances by Don Juan de la Cerda, the Duke of Medina at the time. Additions were made in the 17th century, when rebuilding work was carried out following the earthquake. There is a series of sculptures depicting the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity. The niches between the lower columns contain small sculptures depicting the Church Fathers.
The church's interior, which displays a number of different styles due to restoration work during its history, has several important architectural features and works of art. This includes two altarpieces, one cast in silver by Jose Medina in 1682, which is currently located in the Chapel of the Shrine, and another in the Chapel of Our Lady of Miracles, which was created in the 16th century by a member of the Pedro Duque y Cornejo school.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.