Sapieha Palace is a High Baroque palace in Vilnius and the only surviving of several palaces formerly belonging to the Sapieha family in the city. The palace, ordered by the Great Hetman of Lithuania Jan Kazimierz Sapieha the Younger was built in Baroque style in 1691-1697 in the place of former wooden mansion of Lew Sapieha (who died here in 1633). The palace was designed by Giovanni Pietro Pertiand decorated with frescos by Michelangelo Palloni. The piano nobile has initially displayed Dutch tiles and mosaics representingblazons, churches, castles, and palaces owned or built by the Sapiehas. Originally, the palace had multi-floor arcades on its sides, which were later built up to gain more space inside the building.
In 1809 the palace was acquired by the Russian government and restructured (according to Józef Poussier's design) into a military hospital in 1843. Much of the rich interior was destroyed throughout the 19th century. The exterior of the palace was restored only in 1927-1928 and the building housed University's ophthalmology institute until World War II. Since the war it has been used as military hospital again and fell into disrepair. Today the complex houses the Sapiega Hospital.
The palace is surrounded by the remains of the 17th century formal park, with parterres, ponds, and avenues. The impressive Baroque gate secures the entrance to the park from the Antakalnis street and the other gate is in the opposite side of the park, near the palace. Both of them have been recently restored.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.