The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Bayonne is the seat of the former Bishops of Bayonne, now the Bishops of Bayonne, Lescar, and Oloron. The cathedral is in the Gothic architectural tradition.
The site was previously occupied by a Romanesque cathedral that was destroyed by two fires in 1258 and 1310. Construction of the present cathedral began in the 13th century and was completed at the beginning of the 17th, except for the two spires which were not finished until the 19th century. The structure has been much restored and refurbished, notably by Émile Boeswildwald, architect to the French government in the 19th century, and a pupil of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
The cathedral stands on the Pilgrimage Way of Santiago de Compostela.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.