Saint Peter’s (Saint-Pierre) church was formerly an abbey church of the Benedictines. The abbey church was founded in the 7th century with the help of Queen Bathilde, the wife of Clovis II. The most important vestige of the church is a convent buildings located on the south side, later rebuilt in early 18th century, and nowadays served as a school named Lycee Marceau.
The church was destroyed several times by Normans between 858 and 911. It has also been damaged by fire in 1077 and 1134. Reconstruction of the apse and ambulatory has taken in 1165 under the direction of Bilduard with less financial support. The tomb of Gilduin, a bishop of Breton, who died in 1077 and buried in the church was discovered during the work. This discovery encouraged donations from the congregations and allowed the continuation of the reconstruction of the church and also supported the construction of Chartres cathedral tour and royal portal.
The most ancient part of the church is the bell tower on the west side, built around the year 1000 AD. The nave and the aisles date from the early 13th century. The church was finally completed around the year 1320. During French revolution, the church has seized and served as a saltpeter factory - then finally returned to its original function as a worship place in 1803 and nowadays regularly host the Organ Festival. St. Peter’s church opens from Monday to Friday at 2pm to 6pm and you can enter the church for free.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.