The Fortezza del Annunziata is an ancient Ligurian fortress, located near the town of Ventimiglia. Together with other fortresses of Castel d'Appio and Forte San Paolo it was part of a defensive system created around Ventimiglia during the rule of the Genoese Republic and the reign of Napoleon. In particular, the fortress was built in the first decades of the 19th century - after the signing in 1815, the year of the Treaty of Paris, caused the overthrow of Napoleon. In this agreement, at the request of the Austrian Empire part of the compensation that was supposed to pay the French state, was provided to the Sardinian Kingdom to strengthen the Western borders of Piedmont and Liguria. In addition, the opening of the new coastal road to France (today's via Aurelia), was the reason that Austria has come forward with new claims. Therefore, it was decided to build in Ventimiglia, which was considered a strategic point, a fortified citadel to control the passage to the North-West of Italy and the Po plain.
The original structure of the Fortezza del Annunziata was used as a monastery of the order of friars minor and was known as the Convento del Annunziata. In 1831, the year the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel Malaussena Podesta was commissioned to transform the building of the monastery in the casemates - the project also involved the Lieutenant Benso Camillo, count Cavour. The new fortress was connected with powerful defensive walls and underground tunnels from the Fort Sao Paolo 13th century. However, in 1883, the year of Ventimiglia lost their status of a fortress and a year later Ridotta was disarmed and converted into infantry barracks, and the Fort of San Paolo was demolished. Subsequently Ricotta was abandoned, and after the Second World war, was transferred to the municipality of Ventimiglia, who in turn, gave the fortress to the Council for tourism and rest.
From 1990, the year at the Fortezza del Annunziata houses the City's archaeological Museum Girolamo Rossi. The Museum is named after local scholar and discoverer of the ruins of the Roman theatre and fragments of residential buildings ancient Albintimilium. In six halls with a total area of 1200 sq. m. exposed important archaeological finds of terracotta figurines, one of the most interesting in Liguria tombstones of the 1st to 4th centuries ad, the collection of sculptures of Thomas Hanbury, a collection of ceramics, artifacts from cemeteries, etc.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.