Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
This 13th-century fortified monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was substantially enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat of the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine example of a medieval brick castle,
it later fell into decay, but was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second World War it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators.
Centennial Hall in Wroclaw
The Centennial Hall (Jahrhunderthalle in German and Hala Ludowa in Polish), a landmark in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, was erected in 1911-1913 by Max Berg, at the time municipal architect in Breslau, as the Polish city of Wrocław was called at the time, when it was part of Germany. The Centennial Hall, a multi-purpose recreational building, is a centrally-planned structure situated on the Exhibition Grounds. The structure of the Centennial Hall is a symmetrical quatrefoil form with a vast circular central space (65m diameter, 42m high) that can seat some 6,000 persons. The 23m-high dome is topped with a lantern in steel and glass. The windows are made of exotic hardwood and, in order to improve the acoustics, the walls are covered with an insulating layer of concrete mixed with wood or cork. The elevations have no decoration or ornament, but the exposed concrete texture is marked with the imprints of the wooden formwork. On the west side of the Centennial Hall is a monumental square modelled like an ancient forum.
On its north side is the Four-Dome Pavilion designed by architect Hans Poelzig in 1912 to house an historical exhibition. In the northern section of the Exhibition Grounds, Poelzig designed a concrete pergola surrounding an artificial pond. Adjacent to the entrance is the office building of the company administrating the Exhibition Grounds (Breslauer Messe A.G.), built in 1937 to the design by Richard Konwiarz. A monumental gateway leading to the forum, is in the form of a colonnade with reinforced concrete columns, designed by Max Berg in 1924. The Centennial Hall is a pioneering work of modern engineering and architecture, which exhibits an important interchange of influences in the early 20th century, becoming a key reference in the later development of reinforced concrete structures.
Cracow's Historic Centre
The historic centre of Cracow, the former capital of Poland, is situated at the foot of the Royal Wawel Castle. The 13th-century merchants' town has Europe's largest market square and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches with their magnificent interiors.
Further evidence of the town's fascinating history is provided by the remnants of the 14th-century fortifications and the medieval site of Kazimierz with its ancient synagogues in the southern part of town, Jagellonian University and the Gothic cathedral where the kings of Poland were buried.
Historic Centre of Warsaw
During the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, more than 85% of Warsaw's historic centre was destroyed by Nazi troops. After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted in today's meticulous restoration of the Old Town, with its churches, palaces and market-place.
It is an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century.
Medieval Town of Toruń
Torun owes its origins to the Teutonic Order, which built a castle there in the mid-13th century as a base for the conquest and evangelization of Prussia.
It soon developed a commercial role as part of the Hanseatic League. In the Old and New Town, the many imposing public and private buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries (among them the house of Copernicus) are striking evidence of Torun's importance.
Old City of Zamość
Zamosc was founded in the 16th century by the chancellor Jan Zamoysky on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea.
Modelled on Italian theories of the 'ideal city' and built by the architect Bernando Morando, a native of Padua, Zamosc is a perfect example of a late-16th-century Renaissance town. It has retained its original layout and fortifications and a large number of buildings that combine Italian and central European architectural
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