Paliani is one of the oldest convents on Crete, situated south of Venerato village and built on top of the ruins of an ancient temple, as confirmed by the capitals located in the courtyard of the convent.
The convent is dedicated to the Dormition of Mother Mary and has been in operation since the first centuries of the Byzantine Empire, reaching its prime during the Venetian era. During the era of Ottoman rule, the convent was a victim of unprecedented savagery by the Ottomans, as it was set on fire and only three of the 70 nuns survived. The convent was renovated in the late 19th century and a new period of flourishing followed.
One of the most important elements of Paliani Convent is the Agia Myrtia, a centuries-old myrtle situated south of the Catholicon, which is celebrated on September 23, as the icon of the Virgin Mary was found at its trunk, according to tradition. This is certainly another case of survival of the ancient worship of trees, which flourished on Crete during the Minoan era.
The convent church is a three-aisled basilica and is one of the oldest on Crete. Around the church, there are ruins of older churches from the first and second Byzantine era. Marble sections, columns, capitals, granite designs and inscriptions survive. The aisles of the church are separated by marble columns and capitals decorated with Byzantine depictions.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.