Castel d'Ario Castle was a strategic element of a defensive system into the Mantuan territory, together with Castelbelforte and Villimpenta Castles, placed on the borderline with Veneto.
Castel D'Ario Castle represents one of the main medieval fenced-in castles with a pentagonal shape. Five towers are visible, included that one at the entrance, where people can still see the location where there was a portcullis and the ruins of the opposite ravelin. A significant restoration of the praetorian Palace at the end of the 20th century has brought to life frescos at the walls of the first floor, with the escutcheons of the Scaligeris, the lords from Verona, owners of the Castle for twenty years in the second half of the 14th century.
One of the towers inside the castle is called Torre della Fame; the tower was called like this because in the middle of the 19th century some skeletons were found out in this place; probably they belonged to members of Pico della Mirandola and Bonacolsi families, locked up and starved here. A headstone on the castle door reminds to this event.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.