The Lurji Monastery is a 12th-century Georgian Orthodox church built in the name of Saint Andrew in the Vere neighborhood of Tbilisi. The popular historical name lurji ('blue') is derived from its roof, adorned with glazed blue tile.
The original edifice of the Lurji Monastery was built in the 1180s, in the reign of Queen Tamar. It was a domed cross-in-square design, with a pair of dome-bearing columns and an extended apse. A lengthy inscription in the southern tympanum, in the medieval Georgian asomtavruli script, identifies a sponsor, Basil, the former archbishop of Kartli. The heavily damaged church was restored as a three-nave brick basilica, without a dome, in the 17th century. In the 18th century, the church was in possession of the Gabashvili noble family. In 1873, under the Russian rule, the church was reconstructed, according to Aleksandr Chizhov's project, with new brick walls attached and a new round dome, alien to the Georgian architectural forms, was added. A new church, that of St. John the Theologian, a typical Russian design, was built south to the Lurji Monastery, under the viceroy Grigory Galitzine from 1898 to 1901.
During the Soviet era, the Lurji Monastery building was used as a factory, a warehouse, and finally, as the Museum of Georgian Medicine. In 1990, the Lurji Monastery was restored to the Georgian Orthodox Church and Christian services were resumed. In 1995, the old dome was replaced with a new conical one which was more in line with traditional Georgian design. Of the original 12th-century structure, only an apse with large windows adorned with fretwork framing, lower half of southern wall, and a couple of stone rows of western and northern façades survive.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.