The Church of Hosios David is a late 5th-century church in Thessaloniki. In Byzantine times, it functioned as the katholikon of the Latomos Monastery, and received rich mosaic and fresco decoration, which was renewed in the 12th–14th centuries. The surviving examples are of high artistic quality. Under Ottoman rule, the building was converted into a mosque (probably in the 16th century), until it was reconsecrated as a Greek Orthodox church in 1921, receiving its present name. In 1988, included among the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The marble decoration in the Church of Hosios David depicted crosses, vines and leaves in swirling detailing.
The mosaic of the Theophany is a detailed mosaic in a naturalistic style depicting Christ holding a text saying in Greek, Behold our God, in whom we hope and we rejoice in our salvation, that he may grand rest to this home. The mosaic contains symbolism indicating the Evangelists. The mosaic representing the Theophany is complex, with a detailed border, and a lot of elements within the scene. The focus of the image is Christ as shown by his gaze, his position in the center and the halos surrounding Christ’s head and body.
Byzantine murals were discovered under the plaster at the Church of Hosios David. These murals are what is left of extensive fresco paintings from the middle Byzantine period approximately 1160-70. The east part of the south and north barrel-vaults contains depictions of the nativity, the presentation in the temple, our lady of the passion, Christ on the mount of olives, entry into Jerusalem, theophany, and decorative panels meant to resemble marble slabs. The south barrel has the rest of the nativity and presentation in the temple. This area also depicts images of the baptism and transfiguration. The Church of Hosios David contains few borders between the different fresco scenes, which is an uncommon feature for this time.
Most of the frescos were created during the middle Byzantine period. The frescos: our lady of the passion, the entry into Jerusalem, and Christ on the Mount of Olives are likely later, during the Palaeologan period, approximately c. 1300. Many of the frescos today are damaged because of effects of time such as: earthquakes, cracking, water damage, and the plaster applied to cover them in the Turkish era.
The Church of Hosios David has a simple exterior and is more removed from the heart of Thessaloniki, closer to the mountains. This contributed to the theory that the Church of Hosios David was not converted to a mosque immediately after the Turks conquered the area, as the Turks converted all the best churches, and best locations first. The mosque was called Suluca or Murad Mosque. When the Church of Hosios David was converted to a mosque the walls and by extension the art was covered with plaster. In addition the Turkish period added a minaret at the south-west corner bay. Only the base remains today, together with the spiral staircase with in the remaining part of the minaret.References:
Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".