The town of Visby in Sweden was in 1995 chosen by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. The town has a city wall that is 3.4 kilometers long which was built from the 12th-14th century. It was the trading center in The Baltic sea, and a lot of mainly Germans and also people from other countries moved to Visby to be a part of this modern and wealthy and rich town. Visby had two mayors during the Medieval Times, one Gotlandic and one German, independent of the country of Sweden. Even the country side was really rich with its 91 medieval churches that are still in use. 3 churches on the countryside desert churches. An example is is the church of Eskelhem that was commissioned and built by only 6 rich farmers. And many churches hired stonemasons from Germany and painters from Italy. It is worse with the churches in Visby. King Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark invaded Gotland 1361 and plundered especially Visby. And the Danes stayed here for nearly 300 years. But before it happened Lübeck had taken over the role as the trading center. Many of the big churches are ruins today, because the peole in the town couldn't maintain them during the 15th-18th centuries, but many of the churches' roof arches are still there. Tody they are used for concerts, weddings and other things. It's only the German Dome church St. Maria that remains. The town is called 'the city of roses and ruins'. And we have of course our city wall. Gotland became a part of Sweden in 1645.
A lot of tourists visit Gotland, especially Visby, during the summer period. And they are several times more than the population of Gotland. Tourists from other parts of Sweden use to say that it's like coming to another country. The pubs and restaurants are crowded. Visby has most restaurants and pubs per capita in Sweden.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.