The Doge's Palace was once the home of the Doges of Genoa. It is now a museum and a centre for cultural events and arts exhibitions. It is situated in the heart of the city, with two different entrances and façades, the main one on Piazza Matteotti, and the second one on Piazza De Ferrari.
The first parts of the Palace were built between 1251 and 1275, during the flourishing period of the Republican history of Genoa, while the Torre Grimaldina (also named 'Torre del Popolo') was completed in 1539.
The palace originated from the acquisition by the commune of Genoa of houses of the Doria between San Matteo and San Lorenzo churches (1291), after which the construction of an annexed new building was started. To this, in 1294, a tower of the Fieschi family was added. The palace was restored in the 1590s by Andrea Ceresola. Around 1655, the Ducal Chapel was frescoed by Giovanni Battista Carlone and Domenico Fiasella. In 1777, it was subject to a fire, and was subsequently rebuilt in Neoclassicist style by Simone Cantoni.
On the main floor, the so-called Piano Nobile, are the frescoed halls of the Maggior and Minor Consiglio, where many public events take place.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.