Around 1300, Rosendael Castle came into the hands of the counts and later dukes of Gelre. Of the 20 castles in the dukedom, Rosendael was the favourite of many dukes, because of its beautiful location on the edge of the Veluwe moraine.
The large medieval complex contained a forecourt, a main fortress and a substantial donjon. Only the round donjon has survived the ravages of time. It has walls of up to 4 metres thick and was the last refuge in the event of siege for the duke and his family. Although it is the highest tower of its kind in the Netherlands, it was originally twice as high.
The ducal family resided regularly at the castle until the 16th century. But then the tide turned. In 1502, Philip the Handsome captured the city of Arnhem. Duke Charles of Gelre was humiliated in his own castle of Rosendael by Philip. Charles was forced to make peace and was exiled from Gelre. The incident became known as 'the prostration of Rosendael'.
When Philip died in 1506, Charles managed to regain the dukedom of Gelre at great financial expense. As a result, in 1516 he was forced to mortgage his beloved castle and even to sell it 20 years later. He died a few years afterwards and the dukedom soon lost its independence. Rosendael Castle came into the hands of various noble families, who occupied it for almost 400 years.
In 1722 a square house was built abutting the big tower. The side wing and coach house were built a century later. Beautiful gardens were laid out around these, and the famous French landscape gardener Daniel Marot designed the shell gallery, the trick fountains and the tea pavilion, all of which have been preserved. They give the austere medieval castle the character of a peaceful country house.
During the war, Rosendael was hit hard a number of times. It ceased to be a private residence in 1977 when Baron van Pallandt died. The castle was fully restored in the nineteen-eighties and opened to the public.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.