Norviliškės Castle (a former monastery, also called Norviliškės Manor) is a Renaissance style castle. It was first mentioned in 1586. In 1617 the owners donated part of the real estate land to Franciscans. Around 1745 they built a monastery and a church in Renaissance style. The monastery was reconstructed at the end of the 18th century by Kazimieras Kaminskis. After the November Uprising of 1831, Russian authorities closed the monastery and turned it into barracks for soldiers, and later to a boarding school for girls. The Church of St. Mary Compassionate Mother was closed at the same time as the monastery. A new wooden church was built in 1929.
For a long time the former manor stood abandoned. In 2005, reconstruction was started by an entrepreneur, Giedrius Klimkevičius, from Vilnius. The project is supported by funds from the PHARE program. The hopes are that the Norviliškės Castle will become a tourist attraction. It offers hosting for business conferences or weddings, hunting, shooting practices, and other activities, including music festivals.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.