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Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki, dating from a time when it was the second largest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988; the first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD. A century a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Gutted by fires, the church was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634; this was the surviving form of the church. The most important shrine in the city, it was larger than the local cathedral; the historic location of the latter is now unknown. The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave, it was covered with silver. The structure inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint.

The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once; the basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615. Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city, it destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city's Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church's crypt; the excavations uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was discovered. Scholars believe. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949. Underneath the Church of St Demetrios is the place where St Demetrios, Thessaloniki's patron saint, along with other Christians of the early Roman period, were martyred; as the level of the ground rose over the centuries, this area acquired the form of a crypt. According both to tradition and to archaeological findings, it was an old bathhouse, in which Demetrios was imprisoned and martyred in 303 AD.

In the 5th century, when the first Church of St Demetrios was built, the site of his martyrdom was incorporated into the church and the fountain was converted into a source of holy water. In the years that followed, the fountain acquired basins, from which the faithful could collect myron, the sweet-smelling oil produced by the saint's relics; the crypt filled up with earth during the period of Ottoman rule and was not rediscovered until after the fire of 1917. It has been restored by the Archaeological Service and was converted into an exhibition space in 1988, it displays a collection of sculptures, closure slabs, vessels from the Church of St Demetrios. More in room I there are sculptures from the original 5th-century church and piers with relief decoration and capitals with four acanthus leaves. In room II, in the saint's chapel, there are inscriptions documenting the history of the church, together with figural sculptures of the Middle Byzantine period. Room III displays photographs and copies of the restoration work done on the church after the fire of 1917.

In the next room, room IV, there are sculptures from the decoration of the church, built after the fire in the 7th century, the ambo from the original 5th-century church is in room V. Rooms VI and VII, display sculptures from the decoration of the church in the Middle Byzantine period and sculptures and pottery of the 13th–15th centuries. More these include the remains of the original ciborium, constructed to house first the saint's icon and his sarcophagus; the ciborium was hexagonal and made of silver. There are an arch and fragments of arches from a Byzantine ciborium over the altar, which latter is ornamented with crosses in medallions and crosses resting on orbs. An inscription indicates that the donor of the ciborium was Theodore, Bishop of Thessaloniki in the 13th century. Official website of the Church Hellenic Ministry of Culture Photos of the church

Hesston, Pennsylvania

Hesston is a small unincorporated community in Penn Township of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Located in Hesston is Raystown Lake. Hesston is the home of the Hesston Speedway. Original renamed Hesston. ‘On May 6, 1852, the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company was incorporated and on August 13, 1855, trains began running from Huntingdon to Bedford.’—through Penn Township. The Village of Hesston was built on land owned by Jacob Fink and John Peightal. However—it was Andrew F. Grove who erected the first house and on May 26, 1869 named the place New Pleasant Grove. Through the efforts of Mr. Grove, a railroad station, an express office, a post office were established. On April 14, 1873—the Postmaster General changed the name of Pleasant Grove to Grafton, to avoid confusion in sending and receiving mail. At this time—the village had grown to twenty houses, a church, a store, a tannery, wagon-shop, a harness-shop, a blacksmith shop, a steam flouring mill, a small food tavern, a shoe-shop.

In 1885—‘Robert Hare Powel & Company built a track from their quarries out from Grafton to the line of the Huntingdon & Broad Top railroad, one-half mile south of the station for the purpose of shipping limestone to their furnace at Saxton.’In the 1890s—the first telephones are installed in the village by the Raystown Branch Telephone Company. As the population grew—so did the one room school houses and churches in the village and surrounding township. ‘There was a doctor on 24-hour call who traveled by horse and buggy, a midwife who delivered many babies.'On June 16, 1925—the Grafton Post Office changed to its present name Hesston. In 1947—the village is electrified when Valley Rural Electric Cooperative strings the first lines through Penn Township.’The Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad ceased operation in March 31, 1954. In 1970's the Raystown Lake Dam was built to control the flood waters on the Juniata River. Through eminent domain all of the families who lived in the valley of the Raystown Branch and on surrounding mountain ridges were removed.

Over four hundred graves were respectfully removed and reinterred at Jacob's Church Cemetery, Stone Church, other cemeteries. Today—summer visitors come to enjoy Seven Points on Lake Raystown, other camp grounds, rental houses in Penn Township. Of the rental properties—Aunt Susie's Country Vacations—in Hesston—has been in operation the longest; the United States Post Office of Hesston, Pennsylvania has maintained an office in the village—since 1869—and resides in the old general store. ZIP Code: 16647 Area Code: 814 Local Phone Exchange: 658 School District: Huntingdon Area School District Hesston, Pennsylvania - Sperling's BestPlaces

Nempnett Thrubwell

Nempnett Thrubwell is a small village and civil parish in dairying country on the western edge of Bath and North East Somerset, in the county of Somerset, England. It is about 15 km south-west of Bristol; the parish, which has a population of 177, is sheltered by the Mendip Hills, near the River Yeo in the Chew Valley. It is the site of the Fairy Toot oval barrow. Lying just to the north of Blagdon Lake, isolated Nempnett Thrubwell falls within the network of minor roads bounded by the A38, A368, B3114 and B3130; the landscape is characterized by isolated farmsteads, the vernacular older buildings of the local Lias limestone or of render with clay-tiled roofs. Though being rural and consisting of one road and a few houses, Nempnett Thrubwell's curiously comedic name makes the village something of a famous local attraction, it is the subject of the song Down In Nempnett Thrubwell by The Wurzels and is mentioned in the earlier Adge Cutler song Up The Clump. The name Nempnett Thrubwell is believed to mean'The grove at the village well' from the Celtic nemett and the Old English wiell.

The parish of Nempnett Thrubwell was part of the Keynsham Hundred, In the parish, the Fairy Toot is an extensive oval barrow a chambered cairn, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, on the national monument register as'22826'. The Fairy Toot south-southwest of Howgrove Farm is a mound 60 m long, 25 m wide and now 2.5 m high, retained by a stone wall. Its summit is covered with ash shrubs, it was higher. On being opened in 1789 and destroyed, it was found to contain two rows of cells, running from south to north, formed by immense stones set edgeways, covered by others of larger dimensions. At the time it was conjectured to be a work of the Druids, but its origins are far older and date from the Neolithic period. Wade and Wade in their 1929 book "Somerset" described it as "a remarkably fine tumulus of masonry, said to have been one of the finest in Britain, in the chambers of which skeletons have been discovered. A few vestiges of it now only remain, the rest has been used as a lime-kiln." The village played a minor role in the English Civil War 1640–1660, just prior to the taking of Bristol by Fairfax's forces.

The village lies on the direct route between Bristol and Sherborne, where Fairfax's forces had rested after The Battle of Langport in July 1645. Cromwell's cavalry is known to have stabled in the hamlet on the nights of 8–9 September 1645 just before Fairfax’s final assault on Bristol on 10 September in which they played a critical role; the parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime and traffic; the parish council's role includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, such as the village hall or community centre, playing fields and playgrounds, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance and improvement of highways, footpaths, public transport, street cleaning.

Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council. Nempnett Thrubwell is part of the Chew Valley South Ward, represented by one councillor on the unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992, it provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for all local government functions within its area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health and fairs, refuse collection, cemeteries, leisure services and tourism. It is responsible for education, social services, main roads, public transport, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Somerset Constabulary and the Great Western Ambulance Service. Bath and North East Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county.

Its administrative headquarters is in Bath. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Wansdyke district and the City of Bath of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Clutton Rural District; the parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of North East Somerset. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election; the nearby meadows at Plaster's Green Meadows are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it is an area of unimproved and traditionally managed species-rich meadows which support a neutral grassland community of a type, now rare throughout Britain. The site is situated on the slopes fringing the Lias Tablelands and is underlain by Rhaetic clays and, lower down the slope Keuper Red Marl; the permeable clay soils are calcareous in nature and this is reflected in elements of the flora. The site is characterised by the nationally rare Common Knapweed and Crested Dog’s-tail and dominant grasses include Sweet Vernal-grass, Crested Dog’s-tail and Yorkshire Fog, while Quaking Grass and