The Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior is a former Russian Orthodox Church built in 1374 and frescoed by Theophanes the Greek (Feofan Grek or Феофан Грек in Russian) in 1378. Substantial portions of those frescoes still remain, including the Christ Pantocrator in the dome, a number of saints inside the south entrance, and The Old Testament Trinity in the western vestry, as well as others. The current building is now a museum, part of the Novgorod State Museum-Preserve.
A church stood on the site since at least the 12th century. The Icon of Our Lady of the Sign was originally housed there. According to a famous legend, in 1169, Archbishop Ilya brought the icon out of the church and across the Volkhov River to the Detinets during a siege of the city by the Suzdalians. The icon is said to have miraculously saved the city. Because of this, the icon and the broader episode came to symbolize the city and its independence, and were depicted in several icons of the battle, one of which is on display in the Novgorod Museum in the Detinets. The icon itself was later transferred to the Church of Our Lady of the Sign, which was built in the latter 17th century next to the Church of the Transfiguration especially to house the icon. It was kept in a museum during the Soviet period and is now housed in the Saint Sophia Cathedral where it is displayed just in front of the main iconostasis.
In addition to being something of a pilgrimage site for the famous icon, the chronicles also note that the Church of the Transfiguration, which stood just inside the eastern gates of the city, was often the place where the Novgorodians met their archbishop or other dignitaries upon their arrival in the city from Moscow (for instance, after the archbishop's consecration or following other trips to that city, or when Byzantine or other church dignitaries such as the metropolitan visited the city.) It was one of the first places a traveler would come to in the city as he passed down Ilyin Street to the market or passed over the great bridge into the Detinets. Thus, the clergy and the people, displaying icons and crosses, often met their archbishop there and then processed with him through the market and over the bridge to the cathedral and archiepiscopal palace in the Detinets.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.