Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Gibil Gabib

Gibil Gabib is an archaeological site located about 5 km south of Caltanissetta, on a 615-metre-high mountain. Excavations were first undertaken in the area in the middle of the 19th century and were reprised with great enthusiasm in the 1950s by the archaeologist Dinu Adameșteanu. They came to an end in 1984. In those undertaken in the middle of the 20th century, remains dating to the 6th century BC were brought to li ...
Founded: 6th century BCE | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Sabucina

The archaeological park of Sabucina contains settlements ranging from the Bronze Age (20th-16th century BC) to the Roman period. The original village has securely pre-Greek origins, it was constructed by the Sicans, who took advantage of the dominant position of the mountain over the Salso river valley. The first phase of the Greek settlement came in the 7th century. The centre consisted of rectangular habitations, wi ...
Founded: 2300 BCE | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Mount Bonifato Archaeological site

The Archaeological site of Mount Bonifato is located in Alcamo. According to Licofrone of Alexandria, there was a village called Longuro on Mount Bonifato of Alcamo in ancient times. This settlement had been founded by a colony of Greeks who had escaped from Troy. The archeological site was probably inhabited from the 7th century BCE to the 12th century AD. From the 6th century BCE Mount Bonifato very probably had the st ...
Founded: 7th century BCE | Location: Alcamo, Italy

Vassallaggi

Vassallaggi is a Sicilian prehistoric Bronze Age archaeological site which had a later flourishing after the 7th century BC as a phrourion (fortress). The site is located in the middle of the Salso river valley, at 704 m above sea level, in a strategic location for communication between the southern coast of Sicily and the northern part of the island. The site first developed in the Bronze Age (18th-14th centuries BC), f ...
Founded: 1700-1300 BCE | Location: San Cataldo, Italy

Hippana

Hippana was an ancient town of Sicily, mentioned by Polybius as being taken by assault by the Romans in the First Punic War, 260 BCE. Diodorus, in relating the events of the same campaign, mentions the capture of a town called 'Sittana', for which we should in all probability read 'Hippana'. It sat astride the main road from Panormus (modern Palermo) to Agrigentum (modern Agrigento) upon Monte dei Cava ...
Founded: 7th century BCE | Location: Prizzi, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.