Saint Teresa of Ávila Cathedral in Požega is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The cathedral building was funded by Franjo Thauszy, Zagreb bishop, with 80,000 forints that were originally intended for repairs of the Požega fortress, owned by bishop Thauszy at the time. The project was endorsed by empress Maria Theresa in 1754 and building started in 1756. The construction took seven years and bishop Thauszy consecrated the new church on 24 July 1763.
The original tower was toppled by a storm in 1926 and had to be replaced by a new, 63 meters tall tower.
The interior of the Požega cathedral is decorated in playful baroque and rococo style. The interior is dominated by main altar of St. Teresa of Ávila, gift of bishop Franjo Thauszy, presented on the occasion of the consecration of the church. Among other altars in the cathedral, the altar of St. John of Nepomuk and the altar of St. Michael the Archangel are especially noteworthy. The former was a gift of Croatian viceroy Franjo Nádasdy, and the latter of Požega-born, Kutjevo parish priest Josip Maurović.
Furthermore, there is a beautiful pulpit - also a gift from bishop Thauszy, and rococo carved oak pews. Cathedral organ was built by Josip Brandl factory in Maribor and put in its place in 1900.
By the end of the 19th century, six octagonal stained-glass windows have been installed.
Interior of the Požega cathedral is also decorated by wall paintings painted by famous Croatian painters Celestin Medović and Oton Iveković in 1898 and 1899. Trinity painting above the main altar has been painted by two of them together, while on the ceiling of the apse there is painting of St. Teresa by Medović.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.