Borgarfjörð, the 'fjord of the borg', now West Burra Firt, was so named by the Norsemen on account of the borg (broch) or 'Pictish tower', which still stands on the little holm north of West Burra Firth pier, now greatly ruined. The broch dates to the very early 1st century AD and in the 19th century was 'connected with the land by a bridge of large stepping-stones over which the sea flows at full tide.' The diameter is 18 m and the walls are an average of 4.6 m thick. The stone still stands eight or nine courses high in places.

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Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.