Medieval castles in Sardinia

Castelsardo Castle

The town of Castelsardo originates from the castle built in the 12th or 13th century by the Doria family of Genoa. The castle and the village which gradually formed round it where the seat of the Doria"s fiefdom in the island called Castel Doria or Castelgenovese, until it was conquered by the Aragonese in the 15th century (1448), and named Castillo Aragonés (Castel Aragonese). Later it became the seat of the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castelsardo, Italy

Pedres Castle

Located at 89 meters in height, the Pedres castle was built between 1296 and 1322 during the Pisan-Aragonese domination period during the ascent of the Visconti family. It is characterized by two squares, one upper and one lower, surrounded by polygonal walls, reachable through stairs built with large granite boulders. Its position allowed to control the territory up to the Gulf of Olbia. In 1339 the castle was entruste ...
Founded: 1296-1322 | Location: Olbia, Italy

Balaiana Castle

The Balaiana Castle is situated on Mount San Leonardo, at 299 metres above sea level, dominating the surrounding valley. You can walk through a staircase carved between granite rocks where the start path is located in the parking area, just 5 km from the village, on the road to Arzachena. The castle"s unique architecture, with features such as the special interlocking blocks of granite corners, dates back to the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Luogosanto, Italy

Goceano Castle

Castle of Burgos was built in 1134 by the Giudice of Logudoro Gonario II of Torres. Later it was in the hands of Genoese and Pisa armies and finally Aragonese left it to decay.
Founded: 1134 | Location: Burgos, Italy

Casteldoria Castle

Casteldoria Castle was built around the 12th century by the Genoese Doria family, and passed from the Genoese dominion to the Aragonese, then to the Arborea Giudicato and lastly to the Malaspina family. Only a few ruins remain of the fortress: parts of the walls, the remains of a chapel and a large cistern that was probably used to collect and store water. The famous tower, on the other hand, is well-preserved, and is an ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santa Maria Coghinas, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.