The Pomeranian Dukes Castle in Słupsk was erected in 1507. At first it was a gothic building, much smaller than now. In the same year duke Bolesław X rebuilt it and enlarged in the Renaissance style. The castle complex consists of the castle itself, a small, half-timbered building housing the board of directors of the Museum of Central Pomerania, the Castle Mill, the Fishermen Gate (the remains of Słupsk fortifications, the Richter’s Granary, moved element by element from the place it originally was built at the intersection of Kopernika and Wolności streets) and St. Jack’s church. The Castle Mill is one of the oldest operating industrial objects in Poland.
In the past the castle was a residence of Pomeranian dukes of the Griffin dynasty. While the Germans ruled in Słupsk, the object was used, alter alia, as wheat and weapons warehouse as well as a prison, which contributed to devastation thereof. After II World War it was restored and the tower’s cap was rebuilt. Today the castle serves as the seat of the Museum of Central Pomerania in Słupsk.
The castle kept its original design of a rectangle, its interior dimension being 17 x 35 meters. The plastered brick building consists of three floors covered with a hipped roof. Attached to the body of the castle, in the middle of the northwest façade is a polygonal tower covered with a multi-hipped cupola topped with a lantern. Next to the tower, in between second and third floor, there is a rather small, rectangular annex with arcaded loggia. The castle axis is defined by rectangular window openings, the corners of all façades emphasized by rustication. The southeast façade is divided into three by breaks reaching as far as first floor; in southern corner of this façade and in the southwestern façade there are three buttresses. In the southwestern façade there is a polygonal bay and it the northeastern a triangular one. All façades are topped by a beveled cornice. Inside partially and in the second floor only original barrel vaults with lunettes have been restored, and in the tower ribbed vault has been preserved. The entrance to the tower from the northern side leads to the museum rooms.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.