Villa Saraceno has been dated to the 1540s, which makes it one of Andrea Palladio's earlier works. In 1570 the building was illustrated in an imagined state in its architect's influential publication 'Four Books of Architecture'.
Villa Saraceno is one of Palladio's simpler creations. Like most of Palladio's villas it combines living space for its upper-class owners with space for uses related to agriculture. Above the piano nobile is a floor which was designed as a granary. As it stands today, the villa has a nineteenth-century wing which links it to a fifteenth-century building.
The villa fell into a poor state of repair in the twentieth century but retained some of its original frescoes. It was acquired in 1989 by the British charity the Landmark Trust. By 1994 the Trust had completed its restoration, converting the property, which includes adjacent farm-buildings not by Palladio, into a holiday home sleeping up to 16 people. The many people who have since stayed in the villa include Witold Rybczynski, who used it as a base when researching his book on Palladio.
The restoration has been praised for its sensitivity, and since 1996 the villa has enjoyed an additional level of protection, being conserved as one of the buildings which make up the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.