The Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale di Milano) was the seat of government of the city for centuries. Today it serves as a cultural centre and home to expositions and exhibitions.
Originally designed with a structure of two courtyards, the palace was then partially demolished to make room for the Duomo. The palace is located to the right of the facade of the cathedral opposite the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The facade of the building follows the style of the ancient courtyard, forming a recess in respect to Piazza del Duomo, known as the Piazzetta Reale.
The magnificent Hall of Caryatids can be found on the main floor of the building. It occupies the site of the old theatre, which burned down in 1776 and is the only room that survived the heavy bombings of 1943. The damage caused by the incendiary and violent air movement was followed by a state of abandonment for over two years, which contributed to further serious damage to the building. Many of the neoclassical interiors of the Palace were lost.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.