The Doria Castle is situated in a dominant position overlooking the Dolceacqua village. The first mention of the castle and the village, called at the time Dulzana, dates back to 1177 in an ancient document in which abuts the property of the counts of Ventimiglia. Will be in 1270, almost a hundred years later, the feud and its manor house will be purchased by Oberto Doria - the latter founder of the famous dynasty that will dominate Genoa and its Republic - which will expand its territories in the Nervia Valley up to the villages of Apricale, Perinaldo and Isolabona.
The castle will be in the 14th century in the center of fights between the factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and the Doria family, exponent ghibellina, will therefore have to undergo two heavy sieges in 1319 and in 1329; the sieges were ordered by King Robert of Anjou, Count of Provence and the Guelfa, who succeeded in his aim of conquest forcing the Doria to submit to his will. The lords of the family will become therefore the vassals of the latter and afterwards of the Republic of Genoa. In 1744 the castle was once again the scene of clashes and furious battles because of its strategic position deemed important for the possible obstacle that could create to the French army and Spanish. The two armies, Allies, succeeded after violent struggles to conquer the fortress on 27 July 1745.
Originally the structure was composed in the 12th century by a circular tower - still existing at the center of the complex - and by a smaller building where he lived the office of guard. The castle was enlarged in the 16th century by the then lord local Stefano Doria, to which he added to the previous structure a bastion rammed in the eastern sector and the two square towers are identical. Today the structure appears as divided into two blocks, the front part was in fact intended to control and safety of the village as well as local service, prisons and warehouses; the rear, connected with the front body through a large courtyard, was instead where they were located the environments of the representation and reception of guests and where did the local lords.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.