The rectangular Sponza Palace with an inner courtyard was built in a mixed Gothic and Renaissance style between 1516 and 1522 by Paskoje Miličević Mihov. Its name is derived from the Latin word 'spongia', the spot where rainwater was collected.
The loggia and sculptures were crafted by the brothers Andrijić and other stonecutters.
The palace has served a variety of public functions, including as a customs office and bonded warehouse, mint, armoury, treasury, bank and school. It became the cultural center of the Republic of Ragusa with the establishment of the Academia dei Concordi, a literary academy, in the 16th century. It survived the 1667 earthquake without damage. The palace's atrium served as a trading center and business meeting place.
The palace is now home to the city archives, which hold documents dating back to the 12th century, with the earliest manuscript being from 1022. These files, including more than 7000 volumes of manuscripts and about 100,000 individual manuscripts, were previously kept in the Rector's palace.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.