The Alatskivi Manor (Allatskiwwi in German) was first mentioned in 1601. In 1628 Swedish king Gustav Adolf II donated it as a gift to his secretary Johan Adler Salviusele. In 1642 the manor was further passed into the possession of Hans Dettermann Cronmann and in 1753 it was bought by Otto Heinrich von Stackelberg.
The present huge castle manor was designed by the land owner Arved von Nolcken. He had travelled in Scotland and fascinated to the Balmoral Castle. Von Nolcken wanted to build a copy of royal castle to Alatskivi. The new neo-Gothic main building was completed in 1885 and it was one of the most luxurious manor houses in Estonia.
At present, the building is owned by Alatskivi Community and being restored to serve as a museum and restaurant.
Reference: Visit Tartu
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.