The first written mention of Íscar was in the year 939 AD in Muslim chronicles. The remaining Christians reconquered Iscar in 1086 AD. Build on the ruins of its ancient fortress, Iscar’s Castle stands majestic looking over the village. The oldest preserved parts of this fortress (probably dating back to the 13th century) are remains of the curtain wall and the inside structure of the tower. To provide a defence against possible attacks from the west side, weak point, the enclosure was re-enforced in the second halfof the fifteenth century for defensive purposes.
At the back of the Main Tower, a large defensive spur, flanked by two turrets transformed the ground floor into the shape of a pentagon.In this side also a new body was added as a defensive barbican, with a small artillery barrier with three circular barrel turrets. And for safety a Moat was dug into the limestone rocks whose access was by a drawbridge.
On one of these turrets appears the shield of Pedro de Zúñiga y Avellaneda and his wife Catalina de Velasco y Mendoza, IICounts of the Miranda del Castañar, which dates this work at between 1478 and 1493.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.