Kremnica castle comprises a compound of medieval buildings from the 14th through 15th centuries, protected with double fortifications to which town walls are connected. The town walls rank among the best-preserved town fortifications in Slovakia.
The Church of St. Catherine, the patron saint of the town, is the dominant sight of the castle area. The church, with the interior in the Neo-Gothic style, is well-known also because of the unique organ recitals. In the 15th century, the church tower was added, which acquired the present Renaissance appearance after a fire in 1560. For centuries, there used to be guards who would warn people of any danger. The guards` room is currently used for exhibition purposes and it also offers the most beautiful view of the town and its environs. In order to get to the exhibition, visitors have to climb 127 steps of the stone spiral stair-case.
The oldest architectural monument of the castle area and of the town in general is the ossuary from the early 14th century. The ossuary itself is accessible in the basement while the Chapel of St. Andrew with Gothic wall painting constitutes the upper part.
The museum offers to town-castle visitors also historical and art expositions in other museum premises: Baroque Plastic Art in the Town Hall, Archeological research of the Castle and Town`s Defence in the Northern Tower and Kremnica Bells and Bell Founders in the Little Clock Tower. The Miners` Bastion is part of the fortifications.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.