The Villa Romana di Patti is a large and elaborate Roman villa. It was the seat of a rich latifundium estate, which until its discovery had few known examples except for the Villa Romana del Casale.
The villa was discovered in 1973 during construction work on a stretch of the A20 motorway, when part of the north side of the villa was destroyed. Although excavation is continuing and many rooms still need to be revealed, the general configuration of the villa is already quite clear.
The original villa was constructed in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD and was demolished to make way for a larger and much more elaborate villa built over it in the early 4th century AD.
The nucleus of the later villa consists of a peristyle surrounded by residential rooms, typical of the late Roman villa. The most representative rooms are, on the west wing, the particularly large Aula Absidata ('apse hall') which recalls the Piazza Armerina basilica, and on the south wing a tri-apsidal room where the peristyle overlooked the sea. The Aula Absidata contained a mosaic floor now destroyed, but the mosaic floors of the peristyle and tri-apse are in excellent condition. The east–west orientation of the Aula Absidata, different to the north-south axis of the peristyle, raises doubts on its function and dating, suggesting that it might have been a church built after the owner had converted to Christianity.
The mosaic of the peristyle consists of a grid of square panels inserted in a frame of continuous laurel wreathes enriched with floral and ornamental motifs. The mosaic of the tri-apse includes octagonal and circular medallions with animals on curvilinear sides. The quality of both polychrome mosaics is not very high, which indicates they were the product of a Sicilian workshop instead of North African craftsmen.
The residence had been abandoned prior to the earthquake that affected Sicily in AD 365. After the earthquake between the sixth and seventh centuries, the remains of the villa were partly restored and there was continuing habitation at least until the tenth century AD.
The site has been re-covered in recent years by a special protective roof.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".