Roskilde Mansion replaced a bishop's palace which had stood at the site since the Middle Ages. Commissioned by King Christian VI, the new building was constructed to provide a residence for the royal family when they passed through the city or attended royal funerals and other ceremonies in Roskilde Cathedral. Lauritz de Thurah who had recently been engaged as royal master builder, was charged with its design in 1733 and the palace was completed in 1736.
During the English siege of Copenhagen in 1807, the mansion served as headquarters of general Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. Later in the century, it provided a venue for the so-called Assembly of the Estates, a key event leading up to the adoption of the Danish constitution in 1849.
Built in the Baroque style, in yellow-washed masonry and with red tile roofs, the four-winged complex consists of a two-storey main wing, two one-storey lateral wings and a curved gate wing opening to the Stændertorvet. The four wings are connected by curving galleries. Facing the courtyard, the facade of the main wing has pilasters and a median risalit tipped by a triangular pediment decorated with the royal coat of arms. Dating from the 13th century, the Gate of Absalon which connects the mansion to the apsis of Roskilde Cathedral, is the only surviving part of the former bishop's palace.
Since 1924, one of the wings has been home to the office and official residence of the Bishop of Roskilde. The rest of the complex houses Roskilde Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1991, as well as Roskilde Art Association and the Palace Collections. The mansion's gardens and courtyard are also used for exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events.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.