The Priamar Fortress is a fortress occupying the hill with the same name above the port of Savona. The fortress was built in 1542 by the Republic of Genoa on a promontory where in medieval times was the nucleus of Savona, by design of architect Giovanni Maria Olgiati. However, traces of pre-Roman, Roman and Byzantine presences in the site have been excavated in the past centuries, and are now on display in Savona's Archaeological Museum.
In the 17th century the fortress received bastions designed by the Spanish Royal engineer Domenico Sirena, and in the 18th century were added the commissar's, officers' and Sibilla palaces. In order to create space for the new structures, edifices of the medieval Savona, including its cathedral (built in the 9th century over a pagan temple), were demolished.
In 1746, in the course of the War of Austrian Succession, it was stormed by the Piedmontese grenadiers. In 1820, after the annexion of Liguria to Piedmont, it became a prison. During the Risorgimento, Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini was jailed in the Priamar Fortress.
The fortress, which could house up to 500 prisoners, remained Italy's main military prison until 1903, when its role was taken by the castle of Gaeta.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.