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:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".