The Ossmannstedt estate is closely linked with the name of Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813). The poet purchased the Baroque complex of buildings and park in 1797 and lived there with his family for six years (see Wieland estate in Ossmannstedt). Even in Wieland’s day, very little of the original Baroque garden remained, as the previous owners had used the three terraces sloping down to the river Ilm for agricultural purposes. Wieland’s happy rural life with his garden came to an abrupt end with the deaths in Ossmannstedt of Sophie Brentano and his wife Anna Dorothea, and the poet moved back to Weimar in 1803. According to his wish, Wieland was buried besides his wife and Sophie Brentano in the park of the Ossmannstedt estate after his death in 1813. From 1859 to 1896, the house belonged to the family of the privy counsellor John Grant of Glen Morrison. Their numerous guests included Grand Duke Carl Alexander, Walther von Goethe, Franz Liszt and the descendants of Herder and Wieland.
The estate was divided during the land reform at the end of the 1940s, the service buildings and the enclosure wall were torn down and the manor was converted into a school. Thorough and extensive restoration work was carried out on the property between 1968 and 1974 and again between 2003 and 2005. Although the upper parterre was converted into a sports ground in 1947, the original terracing is still recognisable today. Particularly well worth seeing is the well house with its large pool opposite the residential building. The Baroque grotto with the dolphin-shaped waterspout is surrounded by flower beds laid out in accordance with historical designs. Wieland’s brief period of residence in Ossmannstedt and his grave in the park have added substantially to the significance of the estate, which occupies six hectares.
Wieland Manor is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Classical Weimar'.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.