The history of Haminalahti dates back to the Iron Age. In 1874 several bronze jewels were found from the burial made in the 11th century. It was the most significant archaelogical discovery in the North Savonia area.
Haminalahti village and manor are marked as the national built heritage by National Board of Antiques. Between 1759 and 1910 the manor was owned by von Wright noble family. Magnus, Wilhem and Ferdinand von Wright were significant Finnish artists during the national awakening in the 19th century. Ferdinand’s Taistelevat metsot (“Fighting Capercaillies”) is one of the most well-known Finnish paintings. The nature of Haminalahti inspired brothers and can be seen in their works.
The empire-style manor house was built in 1848-1850 according the design of C. L. Engel. Today it’s owned by the Falkenberg family and is in the private use. In 2006 a culture trail was opened in Haminalahti to exhibit the landscapes and the art of von Wrights.
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.