Kazdanga Palace

Kazdanga, Latvia

The first manor house was made out of wood and the new palace was built in 1800-1804 in the late classical style, designed according to the project by the German architect J. G. Berlitz. There is stone bridge, leading to the palace. On the other side of the river there are remnants of the manor buildings; house of the servants, stables, house of the steward and barns. The palace was burned down by local peasants during the Revolution of 1905. However, German baron von Manteuffel renovated it by the project of Paul Schultze-Naumburg in 1907. The renovation of the Kazdanga palace became an important event for the development of the Neo-Classicism style. It was designed by the well known German architect and Neo-Classicism Paul Schultze-Naumburg. In contrast to scenic, borrowed forms, the architect declared a return to the Homeland tradition and accuracy.

The reconstruction of the Kazdanga palace demonstrated a new approach by the architect to the original image of the building. It is noteworthy that the palace, designed in about 1800, was one of the most splendid monuments of Classicism architecture in Courland. Its restoration served as a starting point for re-evaluating both patterns of pure Classicism and local building traditions. Even elements of scientific restoration could be observed in the course of reconstruction. The principle of historical verity was important in designing the interiors and replicas of the furniture that had been destroyed.

During the First World War the palace was again devastated. It was rebuilt between 1925-1927. In 1930 the Kazdanga Agricultural Trade School was housed in the palace. The school is still situated there. Near to the palace is a house of chevaliers. It has well preserved interior, like baroque style stairs and ornamented parquet floor.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1800-1804
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Latvia
Historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (Latvia)

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

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.