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 Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.