Söderlångvik has been inhabited since the early 16th century. In the past it frequently changed hands. Owners in the sixteenth century were called de Jonsson or Jönsson, in the 17th century Michelsson, Tomasson, Sigfridsson and Faxell-Cronmarck. In the 18th century Söderlångvik was owned for a long period by the Thesleff family and in the early 19th century by the af Petersen and Ramsay families, owners of Björkboda manor.
In 1927 Amos Anderson, famous Finnish businessman and art collector, purchased the manor and farm. The main building was totally reconstructed in 1934-1935. After Anderson’s death ownership was transferred to the art association Konstsamfundet. Today Söderångvik is an art and culture-historical museum. The exhibition tells about Amos Anderson and his art collections. There are also foreign art from the Amos Anderson Art Museum collection in Helsinki.
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.