UNESCO World Heritage Sites in San Marino

Palazzo Pubblico

The Palazzo Pubblico (Public Palace) is the town hall of the City of San Marino as well as its official Government Building. The building, where official State ceremonies take place, is the seat of the Republic"s main institutional and administrative bodies: the Captains Regent, the Grand and General Council, the Council of XII, and the Congress of State. The main section of the building is topped by battlements ove ...
Founded: 1884-1894 | Location: San Marino, San Marino

Basilica di San Marino

The Basilica di San Marino is dedicated to Saint Marinus, the founder and patron of the San Marino Republic. The present church was built in 1836 in place of an earlier one that dated to 7th century. It is built in the Neoclassical style, with a porch of eight Corinthian columns. Relics of St. Marino are enshrined in the basilica. An earlier church was erected on the spot in the 4th century which was dedicated to the sam ...
Founded: 1826-1838 | Location: San Marino, San Marino

Guaita Tower

The Guaita fortress is the oldest of the three towers constructed on Monte Titano, and the most famous. It was built in the 11th century and served briefly as a prison. It is one of the three towers depicted on both the national flag and coat of arms. It was registered as one of the World Heritage Sites in 2008. Guaita was rebuilt in the second half of the 15th century and in the 16th century has been covered with a slop ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: San Marino, San Marino

Cesta Tower

De La Fratta or Cesta is one of three peaks which overlook the city of San Marino. The other two are Guaita and Montale. The tower is located on the highest of Monte Titano's summits. A museum to honor Saint Marinus, created in 1956, is located in this tower and showcases over 1,550 weapons dating from the medieval era to the modern day. It was constructed in the 13th century on the remains of an older Roman fort. Just li ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Marino, San Marino

Montale Tower

Montale is one of three peaks which overlook the city of San Marino, the capital of the Republic of San Marino. The other two are De La Fratta and Guaita. The tower on the peak was constructed in the 14th century. Unlike the other two towers constructed on the mount, Montale is not open to the public. It is one of the three towers depicted on both the national flag and coat of arms of San Marino. It is thought to have bee ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: San Marino, San Marino

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.