Chignolo Po Castle is a beautiful eighteenth-century patrician residence, museum of art and customs, called 'the Versailles of Lombardy'. It contains important and precious testimonies of the lavish world of Lombard and Venetian nobility.
The oldest part of the castle, born as a fortress on a hill, is the great Tower, from which a long stretch of the Po (Cuneulus super Padum). It is believed that it was built by the King Liutprando around 740 AD, when Pavia was the capital of the gods Longobardi, with the purpose of serving as a defense fortress and a garrison on the Po and on the Via di Monte Bordone, subsequently named via Francigena - Romea that connected Northern Europe with Rome.
In front of the fort, towards the north, stands the Borgo, which was entirely rebuilt in the 1600. It is characterized as an architectural complex protected at the entrance by a moat, by two garries, and by four ravels (towers) on the far sides.
The castle, in a short time, starting from the XIII century, became one of the greatest Feudi Lombardi, on which i first settled Pusterla, until, in the 1340, this family was involved in an anti-viscosity and fiercely exterminated conspiracy.Then came in Federici and Cusani, which increased to the maximum the power of the Castle, also receiving continuous privileges and concessions from the Kings and Dukes of Milan.
From 1700 to 1730 it was expanded and transformed from a medieval fortress into a real one 18thcentury palace where they stayed Popes, Emperors, Kings, Princes and Archdukes.
Tiepolesque school artists were entrusted with the realization of the stuccos and paintings that embellish the halls of representation of the Castle.The work was carried out by the will and financing of the owner of the time, the Cardinal Agostino Cusani Visconti (1655 - 1715), who was Ambassador of the Pope to the Venetian Republic and to the Court of Louis XIV in Paris, as well as the Bishop of Pavia.
The spectacular baroque courtyard, the large frescoed halls of Tiepolesque school, the refinement of the stuccos and decorations, the dominant tower with its masurized turreted stone, all immersed in a gentle rural landscape, make this monument one of the most important Italian historical residences.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.