The church of Timios Stavros is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which included nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range. The present form of the church is the result of several additions and alterations, carried out throughout various periods. Originally, it was a single-aisled domed structure, built around the middle of the 12th century and it is possible that it was the church of a cemetery. The original church was destroyed under unknown circumstances. Only the apse survived, which was incorporated in a new church of the same type, built at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. This was the first of a series of interventions, where collapsing parts were either rebuilt or expanded. The north aisle is a slightly later addition but it clearly dates to before the middle of the 14th century, while the south aisle is a 16th century addition. The final result is a three-aisled structure with appealing proportions which manage to conceal its turbulent architectural history.
According to an inscription surviving in the apse, the original wall-painting decoration dates to 1171/2. Fragments of the decoration are preserved on the apse under the layer of the 14th century frescoes. They belong to a style rarely seen in the 12th century wall-paintings of Cyprus, but very common in contemporary churches in Capadocia, Greece and Crete.
The main part of the church of Timios Stavros was decorated during the second half of the 14th century. At least two artists belonging to the same workshop were involved, together with their students. Many donors contributed towards this decoration complex. From these wall-paintings we can distinguish a group which follows the Palaiologan style developed in Constantinople during the 14th century. A second group follows the contemporary local Byzantine tradition, enriched with crusader and Armenian features, both in terms of the style and iconography.
The north aisle, which is more or less contemporary to the previous wall-paintings, served as a private chapel for the family of the Latin feudal lord of the area, Ioannes Lusignan (1353-1374/5). The wall-painting decoration of this aisle is a combination of western and Byzantine features, indicating that the Latin rulers of Cyprus did not necessarily have solely Gothic preferences in art.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.