Ameglia Castle was mentioned from the 10th century among the castles belonging to the Bishopof Luni. Ameglia was an attractive site, as it was equipped with a court, a fish market and aport and was then supposed to have a great economic grouth. The castle was also mentioned in another document of 1174, in which it is written that the inhabitants of Pietracoperta – a territory destroyed by the Genoese - had lived in Ameglia and equipped it with a defensive tower during that year.
The castle became then the residence of the Bishop of Luni until the 14th century, when it was owned by Castruccio Castracani. In 1470 the village and the fortress were sold for 6.000 gold ducati to the Banco di San Giorgio from the Viscounts. From that moment on, the destiny of this area was linked to Genoa.
The defensive function of the castle ended in the 19th century, when it became the seat of the Municipality of Ameglia.
The construction period is uncertain, but it could date back to the Late Middle Ages due to its position close to the ridge between the moth of the Marinasco River and the monastery of Santa Croce in Punta Corvo. It was used as path to reach the hill of Montemarcello. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the village was built around the castle.
The structure of the castle is located on top of a hill overlooking the valley and stands in the middle of the village. The fortress is composed by a 2 floors rectangular building – where there is evidence of several reconstructions – by a circular tower and bythe trapezoidal defensive walls. Starting from the core of the castle, along the centuries new houses were built around the fortress. This phenomenon originated the fortified village, whose structure consists in concentric circles.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.