The Château de Mayragues (12th - 17th century) and its pigeon loft built on 4 columns, both listed as Historic Buildings, surrounded by its bio-dynamic vineyard, sit proudly in the midst of the magnificent rolling countryside of the Bastides Albigeoises.
The Château de Mayragues is one of the few remaining examples of the regional fortified architecture with a half-timbered, overhanging gallery surrounding the top of the château built of the light-coloured local limestone. The splendid pigeon loft sitting on 4 stone columns, typical of the Languedoc region, the formal box parterre, the vineyard (cultivated in bio-dynamics since 1999), the surrounding woods and fields of sunflowers and corn, make an ideal setting for the summer concerts which have been performed in front of the château for the last 20 years.The château and the pigeon loft have undergone an extensive 35 year restoration programme using traditional meterials of stone, wood, lime and sand, and in 1998, during the course of the restoration, were awarded the Grand Prix of the Vieilles Maisons Françaises.The half-timbered gallery provides a unique setting for the guest B&B bedrooms and an extensive view over the garden and the surrounding countryside. Visiting the winery, tasting the bio-dynamic wines of the domain, or simply relaxing in the garden are the ideal complement to discovering the treasures of the Bastides Albigeoises.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.