In 1211 Riga's archbishop Albert inaugurated Theodorich as the bishop of Estonia. The centre of the bishopric was to be in Lihula. The Construction of the Bishop's Castle began after the conquest of Estonia, namely in 1238 and it was finished in 1242. The bishop shared the castle with the Order. Their relationship became however quite tense and the bishop soon began to look for a more peaceful location. In 1251 the bishop moved to Old-Pärnu and in 1279 to Haapsalu.
The main castle was located on an oval-shaped hilltop, surrounded by a wall, which was at the same time an outer side of the buildings. The north and west sides of the hill were steep, the south and east sides shelving. For that reason the castle was protected from the south and east with two outworks separated by dry moats and stone walls.
During the Livonian War (1558-83) the castle repeatedly changed hands and it was greatly damaged. It was last besieged in 1581. After the war it was decided that the castle would not be restored and in 1643 the Queen of Sweden gave the permission to demolish it.
In 1990-1996 archaeological excavations were carried out on the east side of the main castle, where the walls of the pre-defence system of the main gate were uncovered. Research has shown that the Bishop's Castle of Lihula is one of the most unique defence buildings from the 13th century in the Baltic.
Reference: Lihula Museum
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.