The first written record of the Blankenfelde manor dates from 1689 when the owner was Ernst von Medem. The estate changed owners several times and was part of the von Hahnide family from 1840 until 1920. Between 1804 and 1805 the manor belonged to the Russian imperial house of Andreas von Königfelsile. Louis XVIII, King of France, lived in Blankenfelde manor for a while when he was in exile.
The complex structure of the manor dates from the mid 18th century, and the main building erected in 1743 has a 19th-century English-style park. There are currently ideas for the exploration of the estate in the concept of private ownership and tourism. The renovation work of the main building is now underway. Blankenfelde estate flower garden is part of the spring tulbifestivale.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.