Stormont Castle is a mansion in east Belfast which is used as the main meeting place of the Northern Ireland Executive. It was never a castle as such: the original building was reworked in the nineteenth century in the Scottish baronial style with features such as bartizans used for decorative purposes.
Between 1921 and 1972, it served as the official residence of the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. However, a number of prime ministers chose to live at Stormont House, the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, which was empty as a number of speakers had chosen to live in their own homes. It also served as the location of the Cabinet Room of the Government of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1972.
Before devolution it served as the Belfast headquarters of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Office Ministers and supporting officials. During the Troubles, it was also used by MI5 officers.
The castle is open to the public each year on the European Heritage Open Day weekend.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.