The Royal Palace was originally a palace of the Prussian monarchy and today it houses the city museum. Initially a Baroque palace of Heinrich Gottfried von Spätgen, chancellor of Bishop Francis Louis of Neuburg, it was built in 1717 in a Viennese style. In 1750, after Prussia took control over Silesia in the First Silesian War, the palace was purchased by the Prussian king Frederick the Great and was converted into his residence. The palace was extended from 1751 to 1753 in the Baroque style with Rococo interiors designed by the royal architect Johann Boumann. Boumann's additions included a transverse wing with a festive hall, throne hall and Frederick the Great's private quarters.
The successor of Frederick the Great, who died in 1786, was his nephew Frederick William II of Prussia (1744–1797). He performed remodelling of the royal palace according to the design of Karl Gotthard Langhans (1732–1808). The remodelling took place in 1795 to 1796 in the classical style. As a result, the wings surrounding the northern courtyard, a new staircase and utility rooms were added.
In March 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition with Napoleon, King Frederick William III of Prussia announced two famous manifestos: 'To My People' and “To My Military Commanders”. On April 1813, in the Yellow Living Room of the Palace, the king proclaimed the Iron Cross as a war medal.
In the middle of the 19th century, drawing on a Florentine Renaissance style, architect Friedrich August Stüler added a new southern wing (1844–1846) and a new courtyard wings along with the gate and railing (1858). In 1918 the palace was donated to the city of Breslau. On 20 September 1926 the Palace Museum (Schlossmuseum) was opened, displaying an exposition devoted to Frederick the Great, reconstruction of original interiors, and a collection of Silesian art.
In May 1945 the palace was heavily damaged during the siege of the city at the end of the Second World War. Breslau was transferred from Germany to Poland after the war and renamed Wrocław. In the 1960s the palace was partially demolished, while the remaining wings were adapted to host the Archeological Museum (until 1999) and the Ethnographic Museum (until 2004). In 2008 a renovation was finished and a new museum was established, presenting 1,000 year history of Wrocław.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.