According to some historical sources, Dragonara Castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. In the second half of the 14th century, the castle, to ensure the safety of the fishing village of Camogli, was repeatedly reinforced, receiving the necessary weapons from the Republic of Genoa.
In the 14th century, the Dragonara Castle was attacked several times. Well documented are the assaults made by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, and the one made by Nicolò Fieschi in 1366.
Between 1428 and 1430, the castle was considerably enlarged and reinforced, especially the adjacent watchtower. In 1438, the Duchy of Milan besieged the castle, destroying its walls. A few years later, the inhabitants of the seaside village built new walls around the castle.
In 1448, due to a conflict between Camogli, Recco and Genoa, the Republic demanded the immediate destruction of the castle. The castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt again only six years later and given to the Doge of Genoa.
In the 16th century, the castle was abandoned as a defensive post, and it was used as a prison.
In the seventies of the 20th century, after decades of neglect, the building was recovered and converted into an aquarium, hosting specimens of the marine fauna typical of these waters. At the closing of the aquarium, the fish were transferred to the Genoa aquarium.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.