The Tikhvin Assumption Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery founded in 1560. It hosts the icon of the Theotokos of Tikhvin, one of the most venerated Russian icons. According to the tradition, the icon of the Theotokos of Tikhvin was discovered in 1383 at the current location of the monastery. A wooden church was built to accommodate the icon. The consequent wooden churches burned to the ground three times, until in 1507 the construction of a stone church started by the order of Vasily III, the Grand Prince of Moscow. In 1560, the monastery was founded and built as a fortress, since at the time it was located close to the Swedish border, and could be used in the defense purposes. In 1610, during the Time of Troubles, the monastery was looted by Polish troops, and subsequently it was occupied by Swedish forces until 1613. In the 1920s, after the Russian Revolution, the monastery was closed, but the icon was still held there. After World War II, the Tikhvin Town Museum was organized in the monastery. In 1995, the monastery was transferred to Russian Orthodox Church.
In 1941, during World War II, for a month Tikhvin was occupied by German troops, who looted the monastery and, in particular, took the icon to Pskov, and in 1944 transferred it to Riga. The icon eventually was taken out of Russia for safety by a Russian Orthodox bishop from Kolka parish. In the period between 1949 and 2004 the icon was stored in Chicago. It was returned to the monastery in 2004.
The oldest building of the monastery is the Assumption Church, built between 1507 and 1515, before the monastery was founded.It is a five-dome church with three apses, typical for the 16th century Russian architecture. From three sides, the church is surrounded by covered galleries. The interior is covered by frescoes.
The refectory of the monastery dates from 1581 and contains a church. This is a massive two-story building. The belfry of the monastery has an unusual shape with a number of domes and was constructed in 1600. The cells were built in the end of the 17th century. The monastery has an approximately rectangular shape and is surrounded by the wall with towers.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.