Miraflores Charterhouse is an Isabelline style Carthusian monastery built on a hill (known as Miraflores) about three kilometers of the center of Burgos.
Its origin dates back to 1442, when king John II of Castile donated a hunting lodge located outside city of Burgos, which had been erected by his father Henry III of Castile 'the Mourner' in 1401, to the Order of the Carthusians for its conversion into a monastery, thus fulfilling his father's desire, stated in his will. A fire in 1452 caused the destruction of the pavilion, and construction of a building began in 1454. It is this building, which was placed under the patronage of Saint Mary of the Annunciation, which exists today. The work was commissioned to Juan de Colonia, and was continued after his death by his son, Simón de Colonia, who completed the structure in 1484 at behest of Queen Isabella I of Castile, surviving daughter of kings John II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal, whose impressive buried are housed in the monastery.
It is a latter-Gothic jewel, and its highlights include the church, with Isabelline style's western facade decorated with the coats of its founders. The monastery consists of a single nave with stellar vault and side chapels, and is topped by a polygonal apse.
The main altarpiece of the Charterhouse was carved in wood by artist Gil de Siloé and polychrome and gilded by Diego de la Cruz (whose gold came from the first shipments of the American continent after its discovery). Made between 1496 and 1499, is undoubtedly one of the most important existing works of the Spanish Gothic sculpture, by its compositional and iconographic originality and excellent quality of carving, valued by the polychrome.
The royal sepulchers's set were designed by artist Gil de Siloé commissioned by Queen Isabella I of Castile. On the one hand is the Sepulchers of John II of Castile and Isabella of Portugal, placed in the nave's center, eight-pointed star shaped. And in the Gospel side of the church is located the Sepulcher of infante Alfonso of Castile. Both sepulchers were made in alabaster and are late-Gothic sculpture's jewels.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.