St. Peter's Cathedral in Osnabrück is a late Romanesque building and dominates the city's skyline. The first version of St. Peter's Cathedral was built in the year 785, 15 years after the diocese was founded by Charlemagne. The Normans destroyed the church 100 years later, and the present version of the church developed only gradually after a fire around 1100.
The oldest parts of the present-day church are the Romanesque crossing tower, the northern facade and the Romanesque-Gothic west facade. The dome in the middle part of the three-aisled nave is as high as the pillars on which it rests.
The oldest pieces of equipment that have survived to this day are the baptismal font from 1220 and the triumphal cross from 1230. The broken rood screen from 1664 has also survived. Twelve statues received from the Münster sculptor Heinrich Brabender remain preserved to this day, including figures of the Christ and of the Apostles, and also a smaller number of statues received from Duke Erich II of Saxe-Lauenburg, Bishop of Münster. These are on display at the Diocesan Museum of Osnabrück.
Over the centuries, the cathedral changed in appearance - the interior primarily during the Baroque period, to which the altars, figures, and epitaphs bear testimony, and the exterior during the major restoration in 1882-1910 under Alexander Behnes through renovations and building of annexes. During the Second World War the cathedral roof with baroque domes and some church annexes were destroyed by incendiary bombs. The cathedral has since been rebuilt and is still a major attraction for the Christians of the city and the diocese as well as people interested in art history from around the world. The Osnabrück Wheel, which on September 13, 1944 fell from the larger of the towers due to bombing, has been re-erected at the side of the cathedral.
The cloister is attached to the church at south of the nave. It has open pillar-arcades on the remaining three sides. Cushion capitals, which correspond to those in the former west choir of 1140, are present in the east wing. The barrel vault in the eastern part of the cloister features lunettes but no belt bows; the vaults in the south and west wings are supported by belt bows and ogival arches (built in the second quarter of the 13th century). During the Second World War the cloister, which had been walled towards the courtyard, served as an air raid shelter.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.