The Great Armoury was built in 1600-09 on the medieval line of the city walls. A working arsenal until the 1800s, the armoury remains the finest example of Renaissance architecture in the city. It was designed by Flemish architect Anthonis Van Obbergen and is the most impressive of his works in Gdańsk. The well-like structure in front was used as an elevator to transport gunpowder and cannon balls from their storage place in the basement to ground level. The armoury was badly damaged in WWII and had to be completely rebuilt. It's only in recent years that it has regained its former glory, following a spell during which it even played host to a supermarket! It's now open as an art gallery, hosted by the Gdańsk Academy Of Fine Arts, with a classy wine bar on the ground floor, which gives you a chance to take a look inside when there are no exhibitions taking place. By the way, when you're standing out front of the building, can you see the horny lion?
Am i not right in thinking that the Great Armoury is home to the art school? It certainly used to be. It was only a year ago I think that I saw an exhibition of graduating students' work in one of the main halls. So 'closed to the public'? I'm not sure.