Brochs

Dun Ringill

Dun Ringill is an Iron Age hill fort on the Strathaird peninsula. Further fortified in the Middle Ages, tradition holds that it was for several centuries the seat of Clan MacKinnon. The original structure is consistent with an Iron Age Broch dating to approximately the first years of the common era. The main and subordinate structures have been occupied and modified throughout its history until the 19th century. Tradition ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Dun Borrafiach

Dun Borrafiach is an Iron Age broch located on the Waternish peninsula of Skye. It occupies a rocky outcrop overlooking the Borrafiach Burn. Dun Borrafiach has an external diameter of 16.5 metres, and the walls still stand to a height of 2.7 metres on the south side. The entrance is on the northwest side of the broch.[2] The northeast side of the entrance-way appears to have been narrowed in antiquity by the insertion of ...
Founded: 300-200 BC | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Dun Fiadhairt

Dun Fiadhairt is an Iron Age broch standing on a low, rocky knoll in the midst of moorland, on a peninsula which juts into the east side of Loch Dunvegan. The broch has an external diameter of 16.8 metres and an internal diameter of 9.6 metres. The main entrance is on the west side of the broch and the entrance passage is 3.7 metres long. The passage contains two opposing guard cells. The interior of the broch contains a ...
Founded: 300-0 BC | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Dun Hallin

Dun Hallin is an Iron Age broch located on the Waternish peninsula of Skye. Dun Hallin has an external diameter of around 17.4 metres and an internal diameter of around 10.5 metres. The broch walls currently stand to a maximum height of 3.8 metres on the north and west sides. The entrance is on the southeast side but is in a ruined state. On each side of the entrance passage are oval guard cells, although only the norther ...
Founded: 300-100 BC | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Snabrough Broch

Snabrough ruined broch is located on the island of Unst in Shetland, which is part of northern Scotland.
Founded: | Location: Shetland, United Kingdom

West Burrafirth Broch

Borgarfjörð, the 'fjord of the borg', now West Burra Firt, was so named by the Norsemen on account of the borg (broch) or 'Pictish tower', which still stands on the little holm north of West Burra Firth pier, now greatly ruined. The broch dates to the very early 1st century AD and in the 19th century was 'connected with the land by a bridge of large stepping-stones over which the sea flow ...
Founded: 0 - 100 AD | Location: Haroldswick, United Kingdom

Broch of Burrian

The Broch of Burrian is an Iron Age structure, which stands on a small headland next to a rocky shoreline. It is separated from the hinterland by a series of defensive earthworks. The broch has an external diameter of 18 metres and an internal diameter of 9.5 metres. The entrance passage is on the southeast side, and the walls are solid. There is a small room in the inner wall of the broch on the northeast side. The broc ...
Founded: 500-200 BC | Location: Orkney, United Kingdom

Broch of Ayre

Broch of Ayre, also known as St. Mary"s Broch, is an Iron Age structure in Orkney. It was first excavated in December 1901 and then again in the summer of 1909. Little now survives, though part of the broch wall is still extant. The excavations revealed traces of internal architecture and external, probably later, structures. The 1901 excavations revealed that the broch wall survived to over a metre in height in par ...
Founded: 500-200 BC | Location: Orkney, United Kingdom

Dun Bharabhat

Dun Bharabhat is an Iron Age galleried dun (ancient fort) or 'semi-broch' situated on the island of Great Bernera. The broch stands high above the water, and is connected to the shore by a 30 metre causeway. The building is a D-shaped broch with a wall of uneven thickness. The broch measures 17 metres by 13 metres externally. The walls stand to a maximum height of 3.4 metres. The building is badly ruined, and strewn with ...
Founded: 300-200 BC | Location: Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom

Loch na Berie

Loch Na Berie is the site of an Iron Age Broch and associated causeway. The site was excavated in the 1980s, which identified that the Broch had survived to first floor level. Loch na Berie is roughly 16.5 meters in diameter and the walls are roughly 3 meters thick. A modern causeway made of stones robbed from the broch was built to the west of the broch, though it is thought that an ancient causeway underlies the modern ...
Founded: 100 BC - 100 AD | Location: Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom

Ousdale Broch

Ousdale Broch is an Iron Age broch located near the small settlement of Ousdale. It has an external diameter of around 16 metres. The main entrance is on the southwest and is 4.3 metres long with nearly all the roofing lintels still in position. The entrance passage is 1.78 metres high and 75 centimetres wide. The entrance passage contains two sets of door-checks, and there is also a guard-cell. The interior of the broch ...
Founded: 300-100 BC | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesky Sternberk Castle

Ceský Sternberk Castle is an early Gothic castle which was constructed, named and still owned by members of the same family. Today it is a residence that bears a long historical and architectural heritage and represents an attractive tourist destination open to the public. It is considered one of the best preserved Gothic Bohemian castles.

The castle was initially built in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov, later called Zdeslav Sternberg. The development of new firearms in the 14th century posed an unexpected threat to the defensibility of the castle. Its 13th century architects hadn't foreseen the danger of long-range firearms and its reinforcement became a necessity. During this period the Ceský Sternberk castle's fortifications were improved through the construction in the north of a three-story tower, which was connected to the castle by a rampart. In 1467 the castle was seized by the royal armies of George of Podébrady. Later, the ruined castle was regained by Sternberk's aristocracy, who, by the turn of the 15th to 16th century, had reconstructed the castle, renewed its defensive system and expanded it with the construction of a new cylindrical tower in the south and the Dungeon in the north. The castle managed to survive the looting of the rebels in 1627, during the Thirty Years' War. With the death of Jan Václav in 1712, the Holicý branch of the Sternberg family died out and its ownership passed to other families, who in 1751 built the lower palace next to the surrounding wall.

The ownership of the castle was returned to the Sternberg family in 1841 when Zdenék of Sternberg from the Konopisté branch of the family bought it. It remained in Sternberg's ownership until 1949 when it was nationalized by the Communist government of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. After the fall of Communism and the Velvet Revolution, in 1992, Ceský Sternberk castle returned to Jirí's son, the count Zdenék Sternberg, the current owner of the castle.

Ceský Sternberk Castle was originally built as a Gothic castle. Eventually it underwent several periods of reconstructions and further fortification and the Gothic architectural features were in parts concealed by the new reconstructions. Especially the interiors of the castle were realized under the Baroque and Rococo styles. In 1760, the master Carlo Brentano performed the elaborate stuccoing and renderings of the halls' interiors. The castle offers a rare collection of 545 copper engravings, depicting the entire history of the Thirty Years' War. Also, historical weapons and hunting trophies are exhibited within the castle's halls.