The easternmost peaks of the Alps have been the natural border between the Latin, German and Slav worlds since time immemorial. Today, in a time of peace, they still speak the languages of these peoples and their valleys are places of friendship and cooperation.
Attracting pilgrims from three lands, the shrine of Monte Lussari, in the northeastern corner of Italy, is truly European and a symbol of this peaceful coexistence. According to ancient folklore, the sanctuary has its origins in 1360 following a series of miraculous events: a shepherd found sheep from his flock kneeling around a bush. With amazement, he realised that a statuette of the Virgin and Child was at the centre of the bush. The shepherd gave it to the priest of Camporosso, but the following morning, the statue was found on Lussari with the kneeling sheep surrounding it again. The event repeated itself a third time. Having been informed, the Patriarch of Aquileia ordered that a chapel be built on the spot.
There is no trace left of the original chapel; the current building is the result of the restoration and extension of a 16th Century building. The sanctuary is accessible by foot via the picturesque Sentiero del Pellegrino (Pilgrim’s Path) that winds through the forest of Tarvisio, or with the cable car from Camporosso.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.