The Visconti Castle of Abbiategrasso lies on the axis of the Naviglio Grande canal and it was built to protect the waterway to Milan. In the 15th century it was one of the preferred places of residence of the dukes and duchesses of Milan.
The castle was probably built at the end of the 13th century on the site of a previous fortification (castro Margazario) near a Benedictine monastery. It was enlarged by Azzone Visconti (1329-1339) and Gian Galeazzo (1378-1402). In 1438 it was restored and embellished by the Duke Filippo Maria and – lost every defensive function and easily reachable by water along the Naviglio Grande – it became his favorite country mansion.
To the castle had some inclination the duchesses of Milan. Here had a stable residence Agnese del Maino, mistress of the Duke Filippo Maria and mother of Bianca Maria. The Sforza, dukes of Milan and descendants of Bianca Maria, favored the castle of Abbiategrasso to enhance their Visconti origins.
After the Visconti-Sforza period, the castle progressively assumed again the role of a stronghold, especially during the years of the Italian Wars (1494-1559). In 1658 three towers were demolished and the fourth was cut off. In 1862 it was sold to the municipality, which in the following years obliterated the ramparts to make place to the new train station, at the same time taking care of some restorations.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.