Laiuse Castle was the first castle in Estonia built to cope with firearms. The oldest part of the castle was probably built in the end of 14th century by the Livonian Order. It was first mentioned in 1406. In 1558 during the Livonian War the castle was conquered by Russian troops and badly damaged. Nonetheless the castle was later still in use both by Polish and Swedish rulers. During the Great Northern War, from 1700 to1701, after the Battle of Narva, the Swedish king Charles XII established his winter quarters here. For five months Laiuse was the administrative center of Swedish Empire.
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.