Oron Castle was built in the 13th century. It was totally rebuilt in second half of the 15th century and renovated several times in the 17th century. In 1801 it was acquired the Roberti family of Moudon, and in 1870 it was bought by Adolphe Gaiffe. Beginning in 1880, a library was built in the castle. Today it houses 17,000 volumes and is one of the largest private collections of French novelists of the 18th Century in Europe. The castle was bought in 1936 by the Association pour la Conservation du château d'Oron, which was founded to preserve the castle two years earlier.
The upper floor of the castle was inhabited by a wealthy middle-class family in the 18th century: majestic entrance, old kitchen, six sitting rooms, and one music room. The library (18,000 books) contains most novels published in French between 1775 and 1825, some of which are unique editions: this is the world’s most important private collection of that period.
The ground floor contains four rooms open to castle guests. Banquets, weddings, birthdays and anniversaries offer the pretext to experience, in one “Murder & Mystery” evening, the atmosphere of the castle steeped in history.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.