The Montalbano Elicona Castle is considered as one of the most beautiful monuments in Sicily. It was built in the 12th century by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II on pre-existing byzantine and Arab walls. The intent of Frederick II was to provide Sicily a series of strong defensive buildings around the island. The well preserved extensive walls of the castle are easily seen throughout the town. From on top of the Valley the King could control the whole area and the nearby Nebrodi Mountains.
The small medieval winding roads lead up to this charming castle that was home to many kings and nobles like Luis King of Sicily and Frederick the Simple. The ongoing restoration work in progress closes up some areas of this site but it is still well worth a visit. Interesting are the rooms with armours on display and the small museum with musical instruments. The Royal Chapel of the Byzantine era is truly impressive! Apparently Arnaldo da Villanova was buried here, a famous character connected to this castle who died in 1313 in genoa and was a doctor, alchemist and a religious writer of great influence in the european courts.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.