Velthurns (Velturno) Castle was built by Cardinal Christof Madrutz and Bishop Johannes Spaur in Renaissance style between 1577 and 1587. It was used as summer residence of the archbishops of Bressanone (Brixen) until 1803.
Once the castle was known for its deer garden, the fish pond and the huge aviary for birds, today the complex itself is a sight on its own. Worth mentioning is above all the St Catherine’s Chapel on the ground floor and its altarpiece by Hans Schmid and, on the upper floor, the Renaissance panelling, carved portals, ovens, frescoes, secco paintings and inlayings such as the gilded waffle-slab ceilings in the Prince’s Room. They are one of the most significant cabinet makings of the Renaissance period in the Southern German area. Open to the public are also an archaeological collection and a collection of South Tyrolean artworks of the period between the 15th and the 20th century.
In the so-called Schreiberhaus of Castel Velturno, there is an interesting collection of farmers’ items and objects of everyday life for vine-growing and wood processing.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.