Vaumarcus Castle is a medieval castle, which hosts today a shopping center. Vaumarcus is a good example of the transformation, which took place in most castles in the 13th century when they were protected to defend agains new weapons, such as throwing machines.
There was initially an entrance to the castle more than 7 m above ground level. It was undoubtedly reached from the outside by a wooden stairs, which were removed in danger. The kitchen was on the ground floor.
The family of Vaumarcus has experienced financial difficulties for a long time. Pierre Vaumarcus sold the castle and the territories to the Count Rollin of Neuchâtel. He strengthened the primitive construction by erecting a gothic gate on the ground floor, with a drawbridge in front.
The castle Vaumarcus was besieged by the Swiss army after the Battle of Grandson in 1476. The old castle was rebuilt after 1476; the new castle, which is located in the north-east, was surrounded by a terrace rebuilt in 1773.
Today, the castle has an international central administration, a family and gastronomic restaurant and a cultural center.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.