Levide Church is a largely Romanesque church of a character unique for the countryside of Gotland. Parts of the choir, notably the area around the portal, is however comparable to the northern portal of Visby Cathedral in Visby, the main town of the island.
The oldest parts of the church are the aforementioned choir with its apse, dating from the late 12th century. The nave dates from the early 13th century while the tower was erected at the middle of the same century. The sacristy is the only part of the church which is not medieval.
The interior is divided into a nave and two aisles, divided by four massive pillars. The ceiling is supported by nine vaults. The interior thus forms a hall church, and the influences for the layout probably came from German churches of the time. A more direct model was probably what is today Visby Cathedral. The southern wall of the interior is decorated by frescos, probably from the middle of the 15th century and attributed to the so-called Master of the Passion of Christ. They depict apostles and saints, including the Scandinavian saints Ansgar and Bridget of Sweden. In addition, there are some purely decorative frescos, probably from the 13th century. A medieval processional cross (14th century) is also preserved in the church. Of later date is the altarpiece (1662-63) and a votive ship (1748).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.