Metlika Castle is located above the old part of the town of Metlika, very near the Croatian border. The castle was first mentioned in written sources in 1456. During the Ottoman incursions in the 15th and 16th century, it was owned by the Counts of Alap, and it played a key role in defense against the Turks. Later, the castle was owned by the house of Frankopan, and later yet by the chapterhouse of the bishopric of Zagreb.
During the 18th century, the castle was damaged by fire twice (in 1705 and 1790); after repairs it was bought by Jožef Savinšek in 1792. It survived World War II intact and was afterward nationalized without compensation and converted into the headquarters of the Museum of White Carniola, established in 1951, and became home to some of its permanent collections. Exhibits include a cultural history of White Carniola, collections of Roman and medieval stone markers and memorials, and an ethnological collection on the historical way of life in White Carniola. The former castle stables and other outbuildings house the Metlika Slovene Firefighting Museum. In addition, the second floor contains a wedding hall, and the basement a wine cellar. Metlika Castle also features the Gangl Gallery for temporary exhibitions, which is part of Museum of White Carniola.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.