Erected at the end of the 15th century by Bonifacio d’Avise, the Avise castle comprises a three-story building sided by a quadrangular tower. The motto of the Lords of Avise, Qui tost Avise tart se repent, is inscribed on the main portal. The monument has recently been restored and currently hosts events and temporary exhibitions. Worth discovering is the vast interior room with the fireplace, the furniture and the pewter collection; as well as the frescoes, the ‘chamber of the safe’ and the ‘chamber of corbels’, thus called because of the fourteen carved wood corbels portraying animals, monsters and figures in fifteenth century garments. These elements suggest that the Avise family commissioned art objects according to the ‘official’ taste of the period.
The castle is not open to visitors since it houses a wine bar and restaurant.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.