Allaman Castle has its origins in the 11 and 12th centuries but the main components were built by Louis, Duke of Savoy, in 1253.
The wealthy Genevan philanthropist Count Jean-Jacques de Sellon, who owned the property until 1839, gave accommodation at the castle to political refugees, such as Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, Voltaire, Franz Liszt and George Sand. In 1820 de Sellon founded the Society of Peace, forerunner of the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization (UNO) and in 1830 the First International Peace Summit was held in Château d'Allaman. Since then, the Castle has also been referred to 'The Castle of Peace'. De Sellon was also instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty in Switzerland.
The Castle of Allaman is one of the largest private properties of Switzerland. The estate covers over 33 hectares and offers some 6,200 m2 of living space. The estate is surrounded by private forests, parks, gardens and Grand Cru vine yards. Recently completely restored and transformed, the Castle is owned by a Swiss family.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.