UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 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

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

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. Ju ...
Founded: 13th century | 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

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

Castle Rushen

Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.

The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.

After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.

The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.

Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.