The Fraeylemaborg was one of the most important borg in the province of Groningen. These strong houses or keeps were built in the Middle Ages to store harvests and to protect their produce from robbers. Besides churches, these structures were the only buildings that used durable stone and masonry. In due time they grew to become centres of power and wealth. The Fraeylemaborg is located in the middle of the town of Slochteren which upon its discovery in 1959 gave its name to the largest gasfield in the world.
In 1475 there was already a farm with the name Frealemaheerd. The building originates from the 16th century. The left wing was built in the 17th century. In 1680 the borg was sold by Evert Rengers, son of the former lord of the manor, because of his family debts. It was bought by Henric Piccardt (married to Anna Elizabeth Rengers, Evert's sister), who borrowed the necessary funds from Stadtholder William III. Piccardt extensively rebuilt the borg and he also landscaped a huge formal garden in the style of Louis XIV's France. After Piccardt's death the borg fell into disrepair. In 1781 the Fraeylemaborg was sold to Hendrik de Sandra Veldman. He rebuilt it into the shape it has today. Among his innovations was the removal of two towers which had graced the front square.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.