Under the current Santa María La Antigua church foundations have been found remains of a Roman hypocaustum. The church was likely founded in 1095 by Count Pedro Ansúrez, although there are no remains of this original structure. The oldest parts of the current temple date to the late 12th century: the gallery in the northern side of the building and the tower, both in Romanesque style. The tower, one of the symbols of Valladolid, has four floors, the upper three featuring windows, and a pyramidal top.
The naves and sanctuary of the church were rebuilt in the 14th century in Gothic style, following the style of Burgos Cathedral. The church has three aisles, with three polygonal apses and a transept. The nave and the aisles are rib vaulted.
Due to a poor foundation, too next to the Esgueva River, and the increasing size of the parish population, the building underwent successive additions and reparations: in the mid-16th century, architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón restored the collapsing building, adding buttresses and several windows.
Also from this period date the high altar retablo, by Juan de Juni (1550-1562; now in the Valladolid Cathedral). Several Baroque altarpieces were executed for the church's interior during the 17th and 18th centuries, hiding the original Gothic appearance.
In the early 20th century the building was extensively restored and rebuilt in order to show its original Romanesque-Gothic appearance, following the doctrines of the French architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc.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.