Category: museum

Fortress of Guaita

Fortress of Guaita is located in the city of San Marino in San Marino. Built in the 11thcentury upon a stone mountaintop, the First Tower castle sits on one of three peaks overlooking San Marino. Guaita is the oldest of the three towers constructed on Mount Titano, and it once served as a prison. The fortress was rebuilt several times until the 15thcentury. The Second Tower is located at the highest point and houses a museum in the Cesta Castle, which boasts over 1,550 weapons dating from the medieval period to modern day. The Second Tower was built in the 13thcentury upon the remains of an earlier Roman fort. The Third Tower was built on a small summit in the 14thcentury and served defensive purposes as a lookout tower. The Third Tower called Montale also served as a prison until the 1970’s and is not open to the public. The fortress has a central tower with two rings of walls and corner towers. The outer ring is adorned with battlements that were used in the 15thcentury during the war between San Marino and the Malatesta family from Rimini. The fortress also has a 16thcentury bell tower. Fortress Guaita is a World Heritage Site and is open to the public. 

Fortress of Guaita

Fortress of Guaita is located in the city of San Marino in San Marino. Built in the 11thcentury upon a stone mountaintop, the First Tower castle sits on one of three peaks overlooking San Marino. Guaita is the oldest of the three towers constructed on Mount Titano, and it once served as a prison. The fortress was rebuilt several times until the 15thcentury. The Second Tower is located at the highest point and houses a museum in the Cesta Castle, which boasts over 1,550 weapons dating from the medieval period to modern day. The Second Tower was built in the 13thcentury upon the remains of an earlier Roman fort. The Third Tower was built on a small summit in the 14thcentury and served defensive purposes as a lookout tower. The Third Tower called Montale also served as a prison until the 1970’s and is not open to the public. The fortress has a central tower with two rings of walls and corner towers. The outer ring is adorned with battlements that were used in the 15thcentury during the war between San Marino and the Malatesta family from Rimini. The fortress also has a 16thcentury bell tower. Fortress Guaita is a World Heritage Site and is open to the public. 

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery is located in Norwich, England. A wooden fort once sat on this site until work began on a stone keep in 1094 by King William II, and was completed in 1121 by William’s brother, King Henry I. The medieval keep was built as a royal palace, although there weren’t any Norman kings who lived there. The castle was built from limestone shipped from France. The upper level of the castle is divided into two sections, one side holds the Great Hall and the other side holds the royal quarters with a large parlor, bedrooms, and a private chapel. There is a walkway within the outer walls where soldiers once patrolled the building. The castle was used as a prison in the 14thcentury, and a new prison was erected inside and around the keep in 1792-93. Due to deterioration, the exterior of the castle was resurfaced in 1834 and 1839. In 1883, the prison was moved and work began to convert the castle into a museum. The museum opened in 1883 and boasts a small Egyptian Gallery, Anglo-Saxon objects, the history of the castle, Fine arts from the 17ththrough the 20thcenturies, Roman curiosities, which includes a collection of Iron Age gold and silver neck rings, and much more. The museum offers a study center, a café, a shop, and guided tours. 

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery is located in Norwich, England. A wooden fort once sat on this site until work began on a stone keep in 1094 by King William II, and was completed in 1121 by William’s brother, King Henry I. The medieval keep was built as a royal palace, although there weren’t any Norman kings who lived there. The castle was built from limestone shipped from France. The upper level of the castle is divided into two sections, one side holds the Great Hall and the other side holds the royal quarters with a large parlor, bedrooms, and a private chapel. There is a walkway within the outer walls where soldiers once patrolled the building. The castle was used as a prison in the 14thcentury, and a new prison was erected inside and around the keep in 1792-93. Due to deterioration, the exterior of the castle was resurfaced in 1834 and 1839. In 1883, the prison was moved and work began to convert the castle into a museum. The museum opened in 1883 and boasts a small Egyptian Gallery, Anglo-Saxon objects, the history of the castle, Fine arts from the 17ththrough the 20thcenturies, Roman curiosities, which includes a collection of Iron Age gold and silver neck rings, and much more. The museum offers a study center, a café, a shop, and guided tours. 

Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle is located in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the United States. The medieval castle was built between 1926-1929 as a residence for scientist and inventor, John Hays Hammond, Jr. Mr. Hammond pioneered the study of remote control and held over 400 patents. He was known as the “Father of Radio Control” and was a protégé of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. The castle was custom built to house Hammond’s collection of artifacts, which date from ancient Rome through the Renaissance period. Hammond Castle sits high upon a bluff and boasts views of the Atlantic shoreline. The castle’s exterior is built from granite; the windows, doorways, and much of the interior structure are pieces taken from European castles and buildings that Hammond had shipped to the U.S. The castle has a covered courtyard, a drawbridge, an indoor pool, several towers, a Great Hall, secret passageways, rooms with hidden doors, a library, a laboratory, a gift shop, and a gigantic pipe organ that was considered the largest residential organ in the hemisphere, unfortunately the organ stopped functioning in 2015. One of Hammond’s prized possessions is a human skull said to be from one of Christopher Columbus’ crewmembers. Hammond passed away in 1965 and left the castle to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Due to high maintenance costs, the Archdiocese sold the castle for $68,000 to organist Virgil Fox who eventually sold the property. Hammond Castle serves as a museum and is open to the public from May to September. 

Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle is located in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the United States. The medieval castle was built between 1926-1929 as a residence for scientist and inventor, John Hays Hammond, Jr. Mr. Hammond pioneered the study of remote control and held over 400 patents. He was known as the “Father of Radio Control” and was a protégé of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. The castle was custom built to house Hammond’s collection of artifacts, which date from ancient Rome through the Renaissance period. Hammond Castle sits high upon a bluff and boasts views of the Atlantic shoreline. The castle’s exterior is built from granite; the windows, doorways, and much of the interior structure are pieces taken from European castles and buildings that Hammond had shipped to the U.S. The castle has a covered courtyard, a drawbridge, an indoor pool, several towers, a Great Hall, secret passageways, rooms with hidden doors, a library, a laboratory, a gift shop, and a gigantic pipe organ that was considered the largest residential organ in the hemisphere, unfortunately the organ stopped functioning in 2015. One of Hammond’s prized possessions is a human skull said to be from one of Christopher Columbus’ crewmembers. Hammond passed away in 1965 and left the castle to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Due to high maintenance costs, the Archdiocese sold the castle for $68,000 to organist Virgil Fox who eventually sold the property. Hammond Castle serves as a museum and is open to the public from May to September. 

Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace is located in Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Built by Peter the Great between 1714-1723, the large complex boasts grand palaces and sits on 500 acres with 144 fountains, extensive gardens, and over 200 statues. There is a narrow canal called the Sea Channel that leads from the Bay of Finland to the complex, which allowed visitors to sail through the tree-lined channel to the palace. The majority of water fountains are decorated with gilt statues, the fountains operate by using force gravity instead of pumps. The Grand Cascade is an ornate terrace where water flows down the multitude of levels. Several fountains surround it and there’s an artificial grotto beneath the cascades. The largest palace in the complex is the Grand Palace, which has been enlarged and renovated through the centuries. Peter created the palace to impress and to serve as a statement that the Russian Empire should be admired. Peter drew inspiration from the French court of Versailles and other royal sites he visited before he commissioned the palace. The palace served as a residence for Russian royalty for over 200 years, until the empire ended in 1917. After the Russian revolution, the complex became an educational center. During WWII, German forces damaged the complex, but the structures were rebuilt. Since then, Peterhof has served as a park and museum and has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Peterhof Palace is one of Russia’s most famous sites and nicknamed by some as “The Russian Versailles.” 

Castello Di Rivalta

Castello Di Rivalta is located in Rivalta in the Province of Piacenza, Italy. The Village of Rivalta is a fortified complex. The fortified castle overlooks the banks of the river Trebbia. The castle is first mentioned in a purchase in 1025 A.D. In 1048, Emperor Henry II donated the castle to the monastery of San Savino di Piacenza. Throughout the centuries the castle was at the center of many battles, sieges, and treason. The castle switched hands numerous times throughout its history, but in the 14thcentury the land was ceded to the Obizzo Landi family. The Landi family reconstructed the castle into the residence it is today. The decedents of the 14thcentury feudal family still live in the castle. The castle is designed in a quadrangular that houses more than 50 rooms. The internal arcaded courtyard is decorated with marble columns, there’s also a cylindrical tower, a dungeon, a music room, a gallery, a billiards room, and a weapons room. In the 18thcentury more trees were planted to surround the castle’s English style gardens, the façade and some of the rooms were renovated at this time. The Castle serves as a Museum of Military Costume and has a Spa and Wellness center. Castello Di Rivalta is open to the public from February to November.

Scaliger Castle

Scaliger Castle is located in Sirmione, Italy. The 13thcentury fortress is believed to have been commissioned by Mastino I Della Scala and used by the fleet of the Scaliger family as a fortified port. The castle reinforced Verona’s defenses and served to show Mastino’s political power. Scaliger Castle is situated on a small peninsula surrounded by Lake Garda. The fortress has crenellated walls and boasts a moat and drawbridge leading up the 150 steps to the ramparts and tower. In 1405, Verona and surrounding towns were annexed to the Republic of Venice and a Venetian garrison was deployed from Scaliger Castle. New stone walls were built around the harbor at this time. The castle’s importance began to decline in the 16thcentury with the building of a new fortification stronghold in Peschiera del Garda, nevertheless the warehouses and arsenal remained at Scaliger Castle. The territories belonging to Venice were conquered during the Napoleonic Wars and French forces remained in the castle until 1814. In 1861, when the independent Italian states united, Sirmione became a part of the Kingdom of Italy. Hot thermal springs were found in Sirmoine at the end of the 19thcentury and the town became a resort area. The increased tourism to the area and the castle led to the castle’s restoration in the 20thcentury. Scaliger Castle is considered one of the most well conserved of Italy’s castles. The castle is open to the public and serves as a tourist facility and museum.

Olesko Castle

Olesko Castle is located in the village of Olesko in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. The first record of this castle was documented in 1390, when Pope Boniface IX gifted the castle to the Catholic bishop of Halych. The castle has changed ownership several times throughout its history as the borders of the countries changed. Olesko Castle was owned by Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary at different times, and served as a fief for kings and magnates, so battles for ownership of the castle were constant. The oval shaped castle was built on a hilltop surrounded by defensive walls, a moat, and swampland. By the 15thcentury, the castle was no longer used as a defense position and became a gateway for the aristocracy. In the 17thand 18thcenturies the castle was purchased, sold and fell into ruin, repurchased and renovated, then resold again. The castle was remodeled in the Italian Renaissance style and decorated with paintings and mosaics. The Polish king Jan III Sobieski was born at the castle and he collected many of the artworks currently displayed there. In 1838, the castle suffered earthquake damage. In 1882, the castle was purchased by the Committee of Preservation of the Olesko Castle, and became a Polish national monument. Both WWI and WWII did damage to Olesko Castle, the castle was also struck by lightning in 1956, but in 1961-1985 the castle was restored. Today, Olesko Castle serves as a museum and is open to the public.