Rosersberg Palace is one of the Royal Palaces of Sweden. It was built in the 1630s by the Oxenstierna family and became a royal palace in 1762, when the state gave it to Duke Karl (later Karl XIII), the younger brother of Gustav III of Sweden.
Gabriel Bengtsson Oxenstierna named the palace after his mother who came from the prestigious Tre Rosor ("Three Roses") family. Construction of the building in the typical Renaissance style of the time started in 1634 and was completed in 1638. In late 17th century, the Renaissance style was out of fashion and Oxenstierna's son, Bengt Oxenstierna, had it radically modernised in the then current Rococo style under the architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. The gables of the main building were demolished and the building was given a new roof. New wings and colonnaded gallery were added.
In 1747, Rosersberg was acquired by Baron Erland Carlsson Broman, and was again modernized with the assistance of the architect Jean Eric Rehn. Broman died in 1757, and the palace was acquired by the State, and given to Duke Karl. Karl took up residence in the palace and continued with Rehn's plans for modernizing it. It was renovated in the late Gustavian style but was lacking many of the more capricious aspects of the style, replacing them with a more serious and romantic tone which is referred to as the Karl XIII Empire style. As part of the modernization a series of new interiors were created, the most notable of which are the Orange and Red drawing rooms, and the Hogland Room.
It was a favourite among the palaces for Karl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria, the first of the Bernadotte line, who spent their summers relaxing at Rosersberg and were the last royals to use the palace as a residence. Karl Johan's bedchamber is regarded as one of the most important examples of an early 19th century Swedish interior. Nowadays, the rooms and collections are preserved very much as they were during the period 1795-1825.
After the death of Desideria in 1860, the palace was given to Swedish infantry and until 1961 was a school of musketry. In the 1960s the Civil Defence force took over parts of the palace and grounds and parts are now used by the Swedish Rescue Services Agency.
The palace has a park which incorporates a French baroque garden commissioned by Bengt Oxenstierna, and designed and planted at the end of the 17th century by Tessin the Younger. At the time it was considered one of the most lavish gardens in Sweden, but much of the garden has become overgrown or been lost. The avenues and a 600 metre (1,968 ft) pond still exist. On the left hand side of the palace is an English garden with winding paths commissioned by Duke Karl around 1800.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.