Kratul was an Illyrian settlement and fortification located in the territories of the Illyrian tribe of Labeates. The archaeological material indicates that life at the settlement was active from the early Iron Age (beginning of 1st millennium BC) until the 1st century AD.
Kratul fortification represents a good example that sheds light on the typology of military architecture among Illyrians. The fortification wall encloses an elliptical shape area (which is uncommon among other fortifications but adopts well to the terrain) and covers about 0.5 ha. The wall was built using large blocks on both curtains, while the core is filled with smaller stones. The blocks are unworked and no mortar has been used. The walls' width goes up to 3.35 m while the height is 2.55 m. Three gates which served for communication have been identified. Two of them are across each other respectively on the north and south side, while the third one is on the east side. From a typological point of view the Kratul fortification is similar to that of Gajtan, although there are substantial changes in plan such as towers and the regular elliptic shape, which make it an interesting site. So far, there have been no trace of houses found inside the settlement.
The Kratul fortification ruins are situated on the hill with the same name, at an altitude of 143 metres above sea level. They lie over the nowadays village of Boks, part of the municipal unit of Postribë. On the plain south of the village's outskirts, near the left banks of Kir river, are located 160 tumuli of Shtoj, which date back to the early Bronze Age.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.