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:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.