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A 17th c. Great Arsenal, aka Great Armoury, is the most representative example of Mannerist architecture in Gdansk, inspired by Vleeshal, the meat-hall in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Since its erection, the Arsenal served as a weapon magazine, however not just an ordinary one. The architect, probably Anthony van Obbergen, designed a richly decorated, red brick-and-sandstone facade, with gold ornaments that gives the impression as if the Arsenal comprised of four minor buildings. The inside of this unique magazine included a collection of weapons, armours and harnesses, as well as pieces of art, until the end of 18th c. In 1920's the building was demilitarized and a trade hall was opened on the ground floor. During WW II, the Great Arsenal building was burned (in 1945), and then meticulously rebuilt. The ground floor was used as a shopping mall until 2007, and the upper was handed over to the Academy of Fine Arts.
Editor & Gdansk Local