The Roman Baths reflect the Italiensehnsucht of its creator Frederick William IV of Prussia. Various classical Roman and antique Italian styles were melded into an architectural ensemble, created between 1829 and 1840.
While still crown prince, Frederick William commissioned both Charlottenhof (1826-1829) and the Roman Baths (1834-1840). Coming up with numerous ideas and drawing many actual drafts, the artistically inclined heir to the throne had considerable influence on the plans of the architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Charged with managing the actual construction was one of Schinkel's students, Ludwig Persius.
The gardener's house (Gärtnerhaus) (1829-30) and the adjacent house for the gardener's helpers (1832) were both built in Italian country villa style (Landhausstil). The Roman Bath, which gave its name to the ensemble in its entirety, was styled after ancient villas. Together with a small tea pavilion (Teepavillon) (1830), modelled on temples of classical antiquity, they form a complex of buildings tied together by pergolas, arcades and garden spaces. The individual buildings were largely inspired by Schinkel's second trip to Italy in 1828. Thus the Roman Bath, which has never actually been used as a bathing facility, came into being thanks purely to the romantic fantasy of the royal Italophile.
The names of the rooms connote a mixture of antique villas and Roman baths. The atrium, the courtyard of a Roman house, is the reception area. The Impluvium, actually only a glorified rainwater-collection device, gives its name to the whole room in which it is located. The Viridarium (greenhouse) is actually a small garden. Additional names associated with Roman thermal baths are Apodyterium for the changing room and Caldarium.
The whole nostalgic creation is on the bank of an artificial lake created during Peter Joseph Lenné's formation of the Charlottenhof areal. The so-called machine pond (Maschinenteich) gets its name from a steam engine building and an adjacent pumping station torn down in 1923. The large hull of a well marks the location of the former building. The steam engine was not just responsible for keeping the artificial waters of Charlottenhof moving – its smokestacks were also a symbol of progress and what was at its time advanced technology.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.