St. Martin's Cathedral in Eisenstadt was first mentioned 1264. From this chapel there are still remains of a Romanesque foundation in the area of the present choir. In the 13th century the chapel was extended by the addition of an early Gothic choir. In the 14th century a chapel for lay people was added. In 1460 the church was rebuilt under the town captain Johann Siebenhirter as a fortified or defensive church, as an attack by the Turks was expected after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Gothic building was finished in 1522. After the great fire of 1589 almost 30 years passed before construction of the severely damaged church took place, between 1610 and 1629.
In 1777 a large altarpiece by Stefan Dorffmeister was added, depicting 'The Transfiguration of St. Martin'. In the following year the Viennese organ builder Malleck installed an organ to instructions from Joseph Haydn.
After the creation of the Diocese of Eisenstadt, St. Martin's Church was elevated to the rank of cathedral in 1960. Saint Martin became the patron saint of the diocese and the Land. Under Bishop Stephan László in 1960 the interior and windows were renewed.
The cathedral is famous for its church music. Concerts of the annual Haydn Festival also take place here.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.