Illasi Castle was built in the 12th century. The structure, composed by a fortified palace and a single tower, surrounded by a wall, is extremely peculiar and almost unique in Europe. It is still unclear which lord built it. It already existed when the tyrant Ezzelino da Romano used it as a base for his wars.
Later it became one of the main strongholds during the domination of the Della Scala family, lords of Verona. It was besieged several times, and at the end of the 14th century it was burned by the troops of the Da Carrara family, lords of Padua. It was then conquered, like all the province of Verona, by the Republic of Venice.
In the 15th century its military function was impaired by the use of guns: after an easy conquest by Milanese troops, the Venetians decided to dismiss it. They gave it to the Pompei family, one of the few noble families of Verona always faithful to Venice and without sympathies for the rival Austrian Empire. The Pompei shortly used the castle as a residence.
Of the original structure only the gateway, a small tower, the remains of a chapel, two cisterns, the keep and 30meter high square tower remain.References:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.