Ponti sul Mincio Castle was built in the 13th century on a moraine rock hilltop with an irregular plan, longer than it is wide, with five towers the main of which looking south east over the Mincio river. The masonry is built of river pebbles, stones and bricks. Following repetitive collapse of the western perimeter wall, diagnosis was carried out and a plan drawn up and executed for the restoration of the wall.
The project paid great attention to maintain as far as possible the materials used, with the only change being seen in the rain water drainage devices. Compatibility and mobility were also at the fore in the operation for strengthening the ramparts against seismic risk where metal structures were put in place. Full accessibility to the monument was also a priority (future maintenance is foreseen to be carried out with ropes and cables connected to the top of the structure).
The project also included the re-modelling of the ancient castle walkways, the creation of an access point to the belvedere overlooking the village and inside the fortified walls, a system of inter-connecting pathways to maximize visitor experience during events and shows.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.