Sarre Royal Castle stands on a promontory in Lalex, which overlooks the Aosta flatland above the national road for Mont Blanc. It was built in 1710 on the ruins of a fortress mentioned in 1242. The property was purchased by the King of Italy Victor Emanuel II, who renovated it and used it during hunting expeditions in Val d’Aosta. The royal castle of Sarre, after becoming the private property of the King, was used as his headquarters for expeditions in the valleys of Cogne, Rhêmes and Valsavarenche.
Several modifications were made to the residence, in order to welcome the first king of Italy, including raising of the tower and construction of new stables. Inside, the rooms were completely reconstructed and modernised. The curator of the Royal Palace in Milan was charged with furnishing the residence, for which he transferred furniture from other royal residences. Victor Emmanuel’s successor, Umberto I (1844-1900) also destined the alpine castle for hunting activities.
In the final years of his reign, Umberto I took a particular interest in the Sarre residence and commissioned the renovation of its interior. At that time, works included important decorations in monumental rooms, garnished with ibex and chamois trophies. Queen Maria José also spent her holidays in the castle, even in the years following the monarchy. In 1989 the Val d´Aosta regional authority purchased the estate to restore it. The castle has a longitudinal body with a square tower in the centre, and is a museum of the presence of the Savoy in Valle d’Aosta.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.