Dębno Castle is a late Gothic complex, built in 1470 - 1480 by Chancellor of the Crown and Kasztelan of Kraków, Jakub Dębiński. Before stone castle was built, a complex made of wood and earth had existed on the location. It probably belonged to komes Świętoslaw of the noble Gryfita family, Kasztelan of Wiślica. Some time in the mid-14th century, Dębno passed into the hands of the influential Odrowąż family, to which Jakub z Dębna, founder of the castle, belonged. In 1586 the castle was rebuilt in Renaissance style, and at that time it belonged to a Hungarian nobleman Ferenc Wesselini, secretary of King Stephen Báthory. In the late 18th century, another remodeling took place, ordered by the Tarło family, who were then-owners of the castle. Tarło coat of arms and the date 1772 can still be seenon baroque portal. Also, at that time, a part of the northern wing of the castle was added.
Throughout the years, Dębno castle changed hands several times. It belonged to a number of noble Polish families - Lanckoroński, Rogawski, Rudnicki, Spławski (who in 1831 hosted there refugees of the November Uprising), Jastrzębski. Even though owners carried out numerous remodeling projects, the castle did not change its original look. It today consists of four rectangular segments, which make an internal, rectangular courtyard with a well. The gate goes through a Baroque portal. Lavlishly furnished rooms on upper floors were occupied by owners, while domestic workers lived on ground floor. The castle used to be surrounded by a moat, now, there is a permanent wooden bridge leading to the gate.
In 1945, the castle was taken over by the government of Poland, and between 1970–1978, it was renovated. Since 1978, Dębno castle has been home to a branch of Tarnów Regional Museum.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.