Oru Palace was a palace or castle in the northeastern part of Toila. The castle was originally the holiday home of a Russian merchant, Grigory Jelisejev, and later the summer residence of the Estonian head of state. It was built in the Italian renaissance style by Gavril Baranovski, with park designer Georg Kuphaldt. The 57-room three-story building was completed in 1899. The castle descends towards the river terraces, and also contains riding stables and manege. Alleged construction of the palace and the park was the total cost of 5 billion gold rubles.
After the Bolshevik revolution of October, Jelissejev went to Paris. The land belonging to the castle was not sold as it was farmland. In 1934, Jelissejev was not willing to sell land to private persons, but only in the state. The agreement was finalized on 22 February 1935. Until 1940 it served as the summer residence of the Estonian president Konstantin Päts. On 13th August 1941, a fire caused by the retreating Soviets largely destroyed the palace. Today notable gardens are located here.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.