On the western coast of Brijuni, along Verige Bay, stands a magnificent Roman villa rustica. Its construction began in the 1st century BC, and it achieved its greatest splendor in the 1st century AD. Certain parts of the villa were used until the 6th century.
It consisted of several buildings for various purposes situated at carefully chosen sites in different parts of the bay.
On the southern side of the bay stood a sumptuous summer residence also with an economic function with two peristyles. Also part of the complex were temples of the sea god Neptune situated at the end of the bay, Capotolium triads and deities of love and beauty Venus. Dieta, palestra, thermae, fishpond and the economic part were situated at the northern side of the bay. By an interesting system of promenades stretching one kilometer along the sea, all the buildings were connected into a unique whole, in ideal harmony with the landscape.
From the seaside this complex was bordered by the shore built of large stone blocks today being about 1 m below sea level. Access to the harbor was controlled by a chain, (verige in Croatian), connecting opposite shores, after which the bay was named.
Besides this villa furbished with mosaics, frescoes, stucco decoration and precious marble, on Brijuni there was a number of Roman villas of mostly economic function, among them particularly interesting the villa on Kolci hill.
The Roman villa in Verige bay is part of the Roman Emperors Route which has received a certificate of the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural routes. Route that is 3,5 thousand kilometers long stretches through Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania and promotes archaeological tourism. It covers 20 archaeological sites important for the period of imperial Rome and related to the lives of 17 Roman emperors.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.