The first record of the castle in Halič dates from the year 1450. In the years 1450-51 it belonged to the Jiskras, later to János Hunyady before becoming inhabited by King Matthias Corvinus in 1462. In the first half of the 16th century it was in property of Istvan Losonczy from Lučenec. The castle was reconstructed, without royal permission, by him and was damaged in 1544 during a siege. After the death of Štefan Lučenský, his daughter Anne inherited the county and married Zsigmund Forgách. The Forgáčs were one of the oldest Hungarian aristocratic family being descendants of the Great Moravian family Poznam, who had preserved their positions in Slovakia after its incorporation into the Kingdom of Hungary. The Halič castle was owned by the Forgáčs until 1945.
Zsigmond Forgách rebuilt the castle on land which had been part of the estate of the owner of the county since 1598, choosing a site that was both strategic and offering natural fortifications. In 1612 it was repaired carefully and the foundations of an irregular hexagon was laid. On top of these; a storied building with six corner bastions was constructed, secured by a ditch and mounds. Wings of this hexagon led into a courtyard with plain walls, later covered with many murals depicting figures of the Roman emperors and the Hungarian kings between its windows and entrances.
At the end of the 17th century Imre Thököly attempted to capture the castle but did not succeed. In 1678, when owned by Adam Forgáč, the castle was besieged again, on this occasion by Turks. The defenders repulsed this attack and also a second attempt in 1703. Six years later Ferenc II Rákóczi overran the castle and in another siege; the leader of the emperor's troops, the General Sigbert Heister, managed to raze parts of the building including the roof and some of the interior equipment.
The Forgáčs had the castle reconstructed in 1762 due to the need of a representative seat in this region. The Austrian Andre Meyerhoffer, was in charge of the works, notable as he was the builder of some of the palaces in Bratislava.
Today Halič castle stays abandoned and waiting the restoration.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.