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Pope Urban II

Pope Urban II, born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was Pope from 12 March 1088 to his death in 1099. Urban II was a native of France, he was a descendant of a noble family in Châtillon-sur-Marne. Reims was the nearby cathedral school that Urban, at that time Eudes, began his studies at 1050. Before his papacy he was the abbot of Bishop of Ostia under the name Eudes; as the Pope he would have to deal with many issues including the antipope Clement III, infighting of various Christian nations, the Muslim incursions into Europe. He is best known for initiating the First Crusade and setting up the modern-day Roman Curia in the manner of a royal ecclesiastical court to help run the Church, he promised forgiveness and pardon for all of the past sins of those who would fight to reclaim the holy land, free the eastern churches. This pardon would apply to those that would fight the Moors in Spain. Pope Leo XIII beatified him on 14 July 1881. Urban, baptized Eudes, was born to a family of Châtillon-sur-Marne.

He was prior of the abbey of Cluny Pope Gregory VII named him cardinal-bishop of Ostia c. 1080. He was one of the most prominent and active supporters of the Gregorian reforms as legate in the Holy Roman Empire in 1084, he was among the three. Desiderius, the abbot of Monte Cassino, was chosen to follow Gregory in 1085 but, after his short reign as Victor III, Odo was elected by acclamation at a small meeting of cardinals and other prelates held in Terracina in March 1088. From the outset, Urban had to reckon with the presence of Guibert, the former bishop of Ravenna who held Rome as the antipope "Clement III". Gregory had clashed with the emperor Henry IV over papal authority. Despite the Walk to Canossa, Gregory had backed the rebel Duke of Swabia and again excommunicated the emperor. Henry took Rome in 1084 and installed Clement III in his place. Urban took up the policies of Pope Gregory VII and, while pursuing them with determination, showed greater flexibility and diplomatic finesse. Kept away from Rome, Urban toured northern Italy and France.

A series of well-attended synods held in Rome, Amalfi and Troia supported him in renewed declarations against simony, lay investitures, clerical marriages, the emperor and his antipope. He facilitated the marriage of Matilda, countess of Tuscany, with duke of Bavaria, he supported the rebellion of Prince Conrad against his father and bestowed the office of groom on Conrad at Cremona in 1095. While there, he helped arrange the marriage between Conrad and Maximilla, the daughter of Count Roger of Sicily, which occurred that year at Pisa; the Empress Adelaide was encouraged in her charges of sexual coercion against her husband, Henry IV. He supported the theological and ecclesiastical work of Anselm, negotiating a solution to the cleric's impasse with King William II of England and receiving England's support against the Imperial pope in Rome. Urban maintained vigorous support for his predecessors' reforms and did not shy from supporting Anselm when the new archbishop of Canterbury fled England.

Despite the importance of French support for his cause, he upheld his legate Hugh of Die's excommunication of King Philip over his doubly bigamous marriage with Bertrade de Montfort, wife of the Count of Anjou. The Pope's movement took its first public shape at the Council of Piacenza, where, in March 1095, Urban II received an ambassador from the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos asking for help against the Muslim Seljuk Turks who had taken over most of Byzantine Anatolia. A great council met, attended by numerous Italian and French bishops in such vast numbers it had to be held in the open air outside the city of Clermont. Though the Council of Clermont held in November of the same year was focused on reforms within the church hierarchy, Urban II gave a speech on 27 November 1095 to a broader audience. Urban II's sermon proved effective, as he summoned the attending nobility and the people to wrest the Holy Land, the eastern churches from the control of the Seljuk Turks. There exists no exact transcription of the speech.

The five extant versions of the speech were written down some time and they differ from one another. All versions of the speech except that by Fulcher of Chartres were influenced by the chronicle account of the First Crusade called the Gesta Francorum, which includes a version of it. Fulcher of Chartres was present at the Council, though he did not start writing his history of the crusade, including a version of the speech until c. 1101. Robert the Monk may have been present, but his version dates from about 1106; the five versions of Urban's speech reflect much more what authors thought Urban II should have said to launch the First Crusade than what Urban II did say. As a better means of evaluating Urban's true motives in calling for a crusade to the Holy Lands, there are four extant letters written by Pope Urban himself: one to the Flemish. However, whereas the three former letters were concern

Revolution Square, Moscow

Revolution Square is a square located in the center of Moscow, in Tverskoy District, northwest of Red Square. The square has the shape of an arc running from the southwest to the north and is bounded by Manezhnaya Square to the southwest, Okhotny Ryad to the north, the buildings separating it from Nikolskaya Street to the south and to the east, it is one of the Central Squares of Moscow. The continuation of the Revolution Square north behind Okhotny Ryad is Teatralnaya Square. There are three Moscow Metro stations located under the square, all of them having at least one exit at the square: Ploshchad Revolyutsii, named after the square and Okhotny Ryad. All these stations are transfer stations, with Teatralnaya being connected with the other two; the Neglinnaya River, a tributary of the Moskva River underground, was flowing through the area. Between 1534 and 1538, the wall of Kitay-gorod with Iberian Gate and Chapel was constructed. In 1817-1819, the Neglinnaya was rebuilt as a tunnel, thus the area became a square.

It got the name of Voskresenskaya Square, after the other name of Resurrection Gate. In 1918, the square was renamed after the October Revolution. In 1931, Iberian Gate was demolished, in 1935, Hotel Moskva was built on the northern side of the square, separating it from Okhotny Ryad; the road traffic was subsequently separated, so that traffic from Tverskaya Street in the direction of Lubyanka Square followed Revolution Square, road traffic in the reverse direction followed Okhotny Ryad. In 1993, all road traffic around the Moscow Kremlin was made unidirectional, Revolution Square ceased to be a through road, it is now used for parking. Hotel Metropol, located in the northwestern side of the square at the corner with Teatralny Lane, was built in 1899-1907 and is considered one of the finest Art Nouveau buildings in Moscow. Hotel Moskva, located at the northern side of the square and separating it from Okhotny Ryad, was built between 1932 and 1938 by Alexey Shchusev and demolished in 2004 despite being recognized as a monument of architecture.

Construction of a new building has been completed, the new hotel, rebranded as Four Seasons, has the same appearance as the old one. There were allegations of fraud related to the construction; the building of Lenin Museum, built in 1890-1892 by Dmitry Chichagov was used as Moscow City Hall. It separates Revolution Square from Red Square. Resurrection Gate was built in 1535, rebuilt in 1680, demolished in 1931, rebuilt in 1994-1996, it connects Revolution Square with Red Square

Vranjina Monastery

Vranjina Monastery or Vranina Monastery or St. Nicholas' Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery on south-east part of Vranjina island on Skadar Lake in Montenegro. Vranjina Monastery with its church dedicated to Saint Nicholas is one of the oldest monasteries in Montenegro. Based on the 1233 chrysobull of Rastko Nemanjić, the oldest document mentioning this monastery, it can be concluded that it was founded between 1221 and 1223 by Sava, the first archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, or by Ilarion Šišojević, the first metropolitan bishop of the Metropolitanate of Zeta. According to some accounts, Ilarion was buried in the courtyard of the monastery; the monastic metochion was formed by land and income granted to the monastery by members of the Nemanjić dynasty, who gave the richest donations to the monastery. Saint Sava granted some land of the Holy Savior metochion on Plavnica to Vranjina, while King Stefan Vladislav granted the Crmnica villages of Godinje, Medveđa Glava and Kruševica to the monastery, queen Helen of Anjou granted it land around Krnjica and Uljanik in Kruševica in 1280.

Around 1296 King Stefan Milutin granted the village of Orahovo and 100 perpers of income from the Sveti Srdj market near Skadar to the monastery. Vranjina soon became famous for its richness. In 1348, Emperor Stefan Dušan awarded the monastery together with half of its income to the church in Jerusalem dedicated to Archangel Michael; that way Vranjina became a metochion of the Church of Archangel Michael in Jerusalem. Vranjina was granted with rich estates by members of the Balšić and Crnojević noble families who ruled Zeta. In 1404 Đurađ Stracimirović gave the village of Rake to the monastery while Balša III gave it a salt pond and the village of Karuč in Crmnica. In the period after Nemanjić rule, during which all estates belonged to the supreme monarch, minor local nobility began to lay ownership claims to the land, some taking parts of monastic metochions; the famous assembly took place in the monastery on the 6th of September 1455, when amidst the growing Turkish threat, the higland tribes swore allegiance to the Venetian republic in the presence of the Venetian proveditor.

Stefan Crnojević, duke of Zeta who had aligned himself with the Venetians, organised the assembly and was present. In the matters of the church, the assembly is pivotal for the preservance of the authority of the Metropolitanate of Zeta which at the time rivaled the uncanonical and, in accordance with the Republics politics following the Council of Florence, Venetian installed Greek Uniate metropolitan seated at the Ostros monastery; the assembly reguested for their metropolitan to be a Slav and for the Vranjina, where the Metropolitanate was located at the time, to be recognised as the official seat. In 1469 Ivan Crnojević returned all of Vranjina's former estates which included villages in Zeta valley, Limsko Polje, Brčeli, Optočići, Tomići and Šišovići. In 1478, during the Siege of Shkodra, sultan Mehmed the Conqueror confirmed all existing rights and privileges to the monastery in order to gain support from the surrounding tribes; the monastery was a temporary seat of the Metropolitanate of Zeta after the destruction of the Holy Archangel Michael monastery in 1441 and remained so until 1481 when, because of the vicinity of the frontlines, the seat was moved to the Kom Monastery.

Ivan Crnojević moved it to Cetinje in 1485. In the beginning of the 16th century the pressure on its properties was renewed, this time by the neighboring villages, so the monastery had to plead to Skenderbeg Crnojević for the protection of its rights in 1527; the monastery was so poor in the 17th century that in 1665 its hegumen, together with hegumen of Moračnik Monastery, requested help from the Catholic bishop of Scutari Pjetër Bogdani. It was arsoned by the Ottoman forces in 1714 during the Numan Pasha's invasion of Montenegro; the 9 defenders of the monastery, including its hegumen Nikolaj from Podgori and Voivoda Ratko Orlandić who were badly outnumbered, fortified themselves in the monastery were they were burned alive. P. Jovićević, Drevni srpski Manastiri, Nikšić: Izdavački centar Matice srpske – Društva članova u Crnoj Gori, ISBN 978-9940-580-05-6