The Palazzo Salis is situated in the heart of the historic centre of Tirano, a small town in the valley Valtellina. The building got constructed during the second half of the 17th century by the noble family von Salis-Zizers, a branch of the important and well known grison family von Salis.
The palace was erected in the 1490s by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. The start of the construction is dedicated to Giovanni Salis-Zizers, who even became in the 1660s twice podestà of Tirano. About in the middle of the 17th century he bought and sold different properties to finally have the land to build his Palazzo. The entire structure of the Palazzo Salis is the result of the integration and change of already well established buildings, most probably already from the 15th or 16th century. The general style of the face of the building is a leftover of the facades of those 16th century buildings. The imposing doorway of the main entrance took its inspiration from a 16th-century design of the well-known architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. The ground plan of the building is structured and organised mainly around two courtyards, named corte della meridiana (Sun-dial Courtyard) and corte dei cavalli (Courtyard of Horses).
The Palazzo is still in the hands of the family Salis and is run today as a Museum. More than ten rooms decorated with frescoes and stucco from the 17th and 18th century, as well as the hidden Italian Garden on the backside of the building are opened for the public.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.