The Royal Villa (Villa Reale) lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. It was originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780, when Lombardy was part of Austrian Empire, for the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.
Following the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the building was used as a Royal Palace and became home to the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de Beauharnais. With the fall of the First Empire (1815), Austria annexed the Italian territories to the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Monza being included in the province of Milan.
In 1861, when the new Kingdom of Italy was established, the building became a palace of the Italian Royal Family of Savoia. The Royal Villa was abandoned by the royal family in 1900, after the murder of King Humbert I near the entrance as he returned from an event.
The palace complex includes the Royal Chapel, the Cavallerizza (horse-shed), the Rotonda dell'Appiani, the Teatrino di Corte ('Small Court Theatre') and the Orangerie. The rooms at the first floor include grand salons and halls, and the Royal apartments of King Humbert I of Italy and of Queen Margherita of Savoy. In front of the palace are the Royal gardens, designed by Piermarini as English landscape gardens.
In the first floorthere are the reception roomsand the apartments of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.The front of villa facing east opens to English Gardens designed by Piermarini.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.