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:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.