Ulnes Church is a stone church built around 1265, and was first time mentioned in documents in 1307. The choir comprises a very old baptismal font cover. A female figure from the 13th or 14th century is displayed in a glass case in the entrance hall. This is one half of a figure illustrating the meeting between Mary and Elisabeth. The church used to have an altar front from the period 1325-1350, showing St. Margareth, St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Sunniva. The baptismal angels (fonts) date back to 1793 and 1873, and the most recent one was made by Ole Fladager from Ulnes, Norway`s most renowned sculptor during the 1800s.
Wall paintings in the choir and over the choir arch are from the 1790s. Among them are illustrations sucha as Jesus with three of his disciples and Zacchaeus in the mulberry tree. Ulnes church is the only one in Norway featuring an illustration of the Zacchaeus story. The altarpiece from 1850 has its own special history. By means of a pull-string, the Three Holy Kings can revolve around Maria and the child. This is the onlye altarpiece in Norway with a feature of this kind.
During the 1840s, two brothers from Ulnes wanted to go to America. One of them was a woodcarver and the other one was a painter. Their ship went down during a North Sea storm, and in their prayers they promised God that if they survived they would go home and donate a beautiful gift to their church. The lifeboat was washed ashore in the Netherlands, and from there they went to Germany where they spent three years as apprentices to master craftsmen while also studying altarpieces. Then they went home and created the altarpiece. Later on they left for America, and arrived safely.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.