San Miguel de Escalada is located 10 km from the Way of St. James pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The building is an example of Mozarabic art and architecture or Repoblación art and architecture.
An inscription that has disappeared but was published by Father Risco in 1786 gave information about the church's consecration in 951 by Bishop Genadio of Astorga, around the time of the founding of the Kingdom of León. It was constructed on a site dedicated to Saint Michael, probably a Visigothic church.
The monastery church's nave has three aisles separated by columns and large horseshoe arches, with their apses and a crossing, which is not covered by a cimborio or central tower. The choir is separated from the principal nave by three horseshoe arches sometimes called an iconostasis).
Despite the floor plan, the building appears from the exterior as a rectangular block. All arches take down in marble shafts and Corinthian steeples proceeding from other Visigothic or Roman constructions (as it may be appreciated in a cyma carved as from a gravestone, perhaps from the nearby Roman city of Lancia).
The building has wood panels, which are decorated with paintings from the 15th century.
Architectural highlights include a meridional porch fixed by twelve horseshoe arche), which were built in two different phases: the seven occidental arches, with columns and steeples are in the moorish style, while the Mozarabic work from the 10th century is preserved in the alfiz decorations around the arches.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.