During excavations at Slotsbanken, proof was found that people had resided there in the 10th century. However, this may not have been in connection with a castle or other building, but historical sources indicate that a castle was situated here in the early 1200s. It was a royal castle with a bailiff, who looked after the King’s interests in the area, collecting taxes from the townsfolk. The bailiff, later called a vassal, was responsible for a geographic area, a so-called fief and Riberhus fief included most of West Jutland up to Nymindegab. One of the best-known vassals of the castle was Albert Skeel, who was buried in Ribe Cathedral. Albert Skeel was vassal under King Christian IV in the 1600 years.
It is unknown how the castle looked originally, but archaeological excavations indicate that the castle consisted of a number of built together houses, surrounding a yard and round towers with canons in every corner for defense. Thick walls and the moat made it hard for trespassers to get into Riberhus. You had to pass the drawbridge and gatehouse in order to get into the castle. In 1400, Ribe was getting poorer and the number of citizens was decreasing, due to several pest epidemics. Copenhagen became capitol of Denmark and Riberhus declined, since there was no activity there anymore. After the Swedish Wars in 1600, the buildings were in such a bad state that the castle was torn down.
Today, you can see a statue of Queen Dagmar, who was married to King Valdemar Sejr on Slotsbanken. Dagmar died in the age of 23 on Riberhus and the statue shows her in front of a boat, sailing to Ribe. The artist Anna Marie Carl-Nielsen, created the statue in 1913 in memory of the young queen. The ruins at Slotsbanken were restored in 1940-1941, where the moats were cleaned and filled up with water, like in the days of glory. Slotsbanken was at the same time restored to its original look; about 8 meters high and over an area of 90x90 meters. The remaining ruin is administrational building.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.