Minden Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Gorgonius and Peter, is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Minden. From the year 803 AD, when the area was conquered by Charlemagne, it was the center of a diocese and subsequently became the center of a small sovereign state, a prince-bishopric of Minden, until the time of the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when Minden was secularized as the Principality of Minden (which lasted until 1806). Today the church belongs to the diocese of Paderborn.
Over the course of many centuries, the cathedral grew from a simple Carolingian church to a monumental basilica. The High Gothic nave and its large tracery windows inspired a number of other buildings. During World War II, the church was almost completely destroyed by an aerial bombing conducted by US Army Air Force on 28 March 1945. This almost completely destroyed the town center including the town hall and cathedral and resulted in the death of over 180 people.
The church was rebuilt in the 1950s by architect Werner March. The church contains a number of valuable art treasures. One of the most valuable art treasures is the Romanesque Minden Cross from the 11th century.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.