Bosjökloster (Bosjö Abbey) was originally a nunnery, founded in 1080 by the Benedictine Order. The oldest preserved document that mentions Bosjö Abbey was written by Pope Lucius III in 1181, when he confirmed its privileges. According to local legend, the land was donated by Tord Thott, the first known ancestor of the Scanian noble family Thott. The abbey was transformed into a castle in the 16th century, and only parts of the original building remains.
During the Danish Reformation in the 16th century, the nunnery was closed down and the estate became Danish crown property. It was subsequently donated to the former archbishop of Lund, Torbern Bille, under the condition that he took care of the remaining nuns. In 1560 Frederick II of Denmark gave the estate as a barter to the widowed Scanian noble woman Thale Ulfstand. Her initials and the year 1569 are carved into the large oak doors of the entrance and are still visible.
The castle passed to the Beck family through marriage in 1629, but when Jochum Beck lost the family fortune, it was sold to Corfitz Ulfeldt to repay his debts. Ulfeldt was a Danish aristocrat famous for having switched sides. When he showed up at the peace negotiations at the Treaty of Roskilde proceedings to negotiate on behalf of Sweden, he was convicted of treason by a Danish court. Soon thereafter, he was also convicted of treason by a Swedish court, and was forced into exile. His wife Leonora Christina, daughter of Christian IV, was captured in his place by the Danish authorities and was imprisoned in the Blue Tower in Copenhagen for 22 years.
Bosjökloster Castle was sequestrated by the Swedish state and fell into disrepair. After a lawsuit in 1735, Bosjökloster was returned to the Beck family, who renovated the castle. They sold it in 1908 to Count Philip Bonde, whose family still owns Bosjökloster.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.