St. Nicholas Cathedral is the primatial cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America. The original parish church was founded in 1930 as the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas. In 1949 the Synod of Bishops authorized the parish to be the church's National War Memorial Shrine and a national campaign to build a monumental Orthodox church in the capital of the United States was begun. The property upon which the cathedral is built was purchased in 1951. The substructure (basement) was completed in 1954 and was used for church services until the superstructure was completed in late 1962. A bell tower commemorating the millennium of Christianity in Russia was dedicated in 1988.
The cathedral architecture is based on the 12th century St. Demetrius Cathedral of Vladimir, Russia. Beginning in 1991, dedicated iconographers from Moscow led by Alexander Maskalionov painted icons throughout the nave in the traditional style. This work was completed in 1994.References:
The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.
The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.
The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.