The Castello d'Albertis was the home of sea captain Enrico Alberto d'Albertis, and was donated to the city of Genoa on his death in 1932. D'Albertis designed the castle in the style of an architectural collage with a Gothic revival appearance inspired by palaces in Florence and castles of Aosta Valley. It currently houses the Museo delle Culture del Mondo (Museum of World Cultures), inaugurated in 2004.
Erected between 1886 and 1892 under the supervision of Gothic Revivalist Alfredo D'Andrade, the castle is located on the site of a 13th-century fortified area, which had been reinforced in the 16th century. Alberto not only based his design on the city's foundation, he incorporated and preserved the foundations of the bastion and one of the turrets.
The museum includes ethnographic and archaeological findings collected by both Enrico and Luigi Maria d'Albertis during their trips to Africa, America (from Canada to Tierra del Fuego), New Guinea and Oceania. There is a large number of weapons from Sudan and the Zambesi area Chinese spears and European halberds. There are several exemplars of Canadian and American plains indigenous people, made in buffalo and deer leather and covered by porcupine thorns; also findings belonging to the Maya civilization from Honduras are present.
It also exhibits models of ships and yachts, nautical instruments, photographs and the volumes of d'Albertis personal library.
A separate section dedicated to music (the Museo delle Musiche dei Popoli, 'Museum of Peoples' Music') exhibits musical instruments from the whole world.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.