Stanydale Temple was a Neolithic roofed building. Today all that remains is a large, walled enclosure. There is uncertainty about the original purpose of the building, but its unusual size indicates some communal purpose, or that it was possibly the home of an important person.
The building lies within a field of about 3.2 ha almost completely surrounded by a dry stone wall. The field contains two smaller stone houses and about 30 mounds of stone. The stones would have been cleared from the field to enable cultivation. The settlement may well have been established in 2500–2000 BC, when Neolithic farmers first came to Shetland. Pottery sherds show that it was occupied in the late Bronze Age (1000–700 BC) and early Iron Age (600–400 BC).
The smaller houses both have a large central space and some small rooms. The main building is heel-shaped with a concave facade, as are other neolithic buildings in Shetland. It has a shallow crescent-shaped forecourt. An alcove outside the door may have been a guardroom. The building is entered from the forecourt via a short, dog-legged passage. The building's walls enclose an oval area about 12m by 6.7 m with six shallow recesses.
Excavations have found two post holes along the axis of the oval that each contained the carbonized remains of a spruce post 250 mm in width. The species of spruce, Picea abies (Norway spruce), is not native to Scotland; the posts were presumably driftwood carried across from Scandinavia. The floor of the building also contained charcoal from Scots Pine. The building most likely had a wooden ridge roof. There would have been few if any trees on the island when Stanydale was built, but driftwood must have been plentiful since it would have taken 700 metres of timber to construct the roof.
Charles S. T. Calder explored the site in 1949. He thought that Stanydale was a temple, a name that has stuck, with a design originating from Mediterranean temples. He saw a strong resemblance to these structures, saying, 'It is almost impossible not to assume that the Maltese temples are the prototypes from which Stanydale is derived and which solve the question of its purpose. Other archaeologists have cast doubt on the 'temple' theory, but agree that the building is unique in Shetland of the period in apparently being designed for communal use or for a high-status person.
Excavations have found sherds of Beaker pottery and flat-based pots. Burnt barley grains have been found, as well as the remains of sheep and cattle. One of the buildings at Stanydale contained saddle-querns and grain-rubbers, which would have been used to grind the barley.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.