The Munot is a circular 16th century fortification in the center of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen. It is surrounded by vineyards and serves as the city's symbol. The earliest presence of a castle on a round hill above the river goes back to 1379, but not much is known about the earlier fort. The castle seen today dates in the 16th century at the height of the city’s commercial power, built in a relatively short time between 1564 and 1589. The castle name comes from the middle high German “Annot” meaning without danger, transformed into Munot.
The Munot Fortress was never a residence and its short useful life means it remains nearly exactly as it was built, a relatively pure castle of the Renaissance. Its most distinctive features ar the cavernous camponiere galleries in the foundation, upon entering the castle from below, and walking the winding stone path up the turret. A single large round tower rises from the open stone upper platform with views out to the Rhine past the Roman Turret, which takes its name from its style, rather than from its period, and the surrounding Emmersberg hills. Fallow Deer were introduced to the fortress moat in 1905, and can still be viewed grazing happily undisturbed on the grass below the stone walls.
The Munot Fortress of Schaffhausen is one of the city’s tourist landmarks and the site of many city festivals and events, including a children’s festival and open air cinema shows.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.