The original Neuburg castle was built in the early Middle Ages by the Agilolfings noble family. This was acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes in 1247. When Count Palatine Otto Henry began his rule in Palatinate-Neuburg in 1522, he found a medieval fortified castle in his residence city of Neuburg, which, unlike similar than other royal residences was still not adjusted for the demands of a modern royal court. So from 1527 he ordered to re-design the castle into a Renaissance palace and to expand the artistic quality and condition to one of the most important palaces of the first half of the 16th Century in Germany. From 1537 an additional west wing was added which also includes the chapel. With his conversion to the Lutheran doctrine in 1541 the Palatine Chapel was decorated with excellent facilities, the antique-style Italian picture program painted in 1543 has been obtained. The chapel was decorated with famous frescoes by the Salzburg church painter Hans Bocksberger the Elder. The chapel is the oldest Protestant church in Bavaria. Because of the financial difficulties and bankruptcy of Otto Henry in 1544, the construction of the west wing took a long time.
Wolfgang, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, who succeeded his cousin Otto Henry in the Duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg, ordered in 1562 to decorate the west wing facing the courtyard with elaborate Sgraffito decorations. The Knights' Hall (the lower panel room in north building) was provided in 1575 by Hans Pihel with a coffered ceiling and wall panels from a rotating timber, both of which are original. The impressive east wing was rebuilt in 1665 by Philip William, Elector Palatine in the Baroque style and complemented with two round towers.
Today the castle houses a gallery of baroque paintings, the museum is under supervision of the Bavarian State Picture Collection.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.