St. Michael the Archangel's Church or the Garrison Church is a Roman Catholic church closing the perspective of the Laisvės alėja, the main pedestrian street. It was built between 1891 and 1895 when Kaunas was part of the Russian empire, in Neo-Byzantine style largely for the use of the Russian Orthodox garrison of Kaunas Fortress.
The church was designed as an Orthodox cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in 1890 by K. H. Lymarenko. The cathedral was completed in four years and was inaugurated on 17 September 1895. Most of the construction was carried out by workers from Chernigov Governorate, and its art-work was implemented by craftsmen from St. Petersburg.
As usual for military churches of the period, the construction of Kaunas cathedral was financed equally by the Military Ministry and by donations from army servicemen. Completion of the church finalized the administrative building complex of the Kaunas Fortress; it symbolized less the presence of Orthodox Christians than the imperial authority of the Russian government. It was also believed that the church would reduce interdenominational frictions.
After the fall of the Kaunas Fortress during World War I the Germans cut down the church bells and transported them to Germany. The church stayed closed until 1919. In the interwar period the cathedral became a Roman Catholic church of the Lithuanian garrison of Kaunas. During the Soviet occupation, it was used as an art gallery. Nowadays it serves as a Roman Catholic church.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.