Orisberg Mansion

Storkyro, Finland

The history of Orisberg mansion dates back to 1676, when the mayor of Vaasa, James Rossi, with his partners were licensed to establish and ironworks to Orisberg. There were 11 owners, until in 1783 a Stockholm merchant and shipowner, Bengt Björkman, acquired Orisberg and several other ironworks in Finland. Due the nobility family name later was changed to Björkenheim.

Captain Lars Magnus and Lovisa Wilhelmiina Björkman host of the manor as a pair and they begged permission to hire a priest and build their own church. These permits were granted and the mansion was an independent parish for 40 years from 1828 to 1868. Orisberg church, bell tower and the parsonage was designed by architect Carl Ludvig Engel.

In addition to managing a small church pastor's duties included work as a teacher. Because there were not yet elementary schools the wealthiest people sent their children to school in Orisberg even over long distances.

Today Orisberg is one of the recreation centers run by Logos Ministries in Finland, an organization within the Lutheran Church of Finland. It offers services for visitors in the summer time. There are cabins for rent, well equipped camping area for tents and caravans, cooking facilities, sauna by a small lake. A café in an old vicarage serves delicious meals. The place still belongs to the manor Orisberg (Björkenheim), which is still a working farm.

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Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

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Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.