San Pedro de Arlanza is a ruined Benedictine monastery located in the valley of the river Arlanza in Hortigüela, Burgos. Founded in 912, it has been called the 'cradle of Castile' (cuna de Castilla). It was abandoned in 1841 during the confiscations the government of Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, when ecclesiastical properties were roundly redistributed.
San Pedro's two purported founding documents, preserved in twelfth-century cartulary, were issued one by Count Fernán González and his wife, Sancha, and the other by Fernán's mother and brother, Muniadona Ramírez and Ramiro González, with Count Gonzalo Téllez and his wife, Flamula. Both documents suffer from certain inconsistencies and anachronisms that have cast doubts on their authenticity, especially that of Fernán González. It was probably forged to give the monastery a more illustrious lineage than it could prove to have. The copy of the charter of Gonzalo Téllez is more likely to be based on reality, since Gonzalo is known to have been active in 912. Fernán González and Sancha were buried at San Pedro, however, and remained there until the dispersal of the monastic community in 1841 necessitated the removal of their sarcophagi to the collegiate church of San Cosme y San Damián at Covarrubias.
The present ruins of the church are those of the building begun in 1080. It had three naves and three semicircular apses in the Romanesque style. Later modifications in the Gothic style transformed the outward appearance, but some of its eleventh-century capitals have been preserved. Among the ruins the three apses still stand, as do the tower (erected towards the close of the twelfth century), part of the cloisters and the chapter house, and the double-aperture and the tympanum above the main façade. The portal of the church was transferred to the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid in 1895. A large Romanesque tomb, said to belong to the legendary Mudarra González, was moved to the Cathedral of Burgos, and some frescoes have been transferred to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and others (like Paintings from Arlanza) to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.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.