The castle of Brina is located on the left slope of a hill in the lower Val di Magra, along the ridge between Falcinello and Ponzano Superiore, within the district of Sarzana and on the border with Santo Stefano di Magra. The original part of the castle could date back to the 11th century. It was first mentioned in a sales contract on May 25, 1055. The houses, the lands and the castle’s walls were mentioned in a sales document on June 14, 1078, in which Pellegrino de Bruciore sold all his belongings and the lands outside the walls of the defensive fortification of Brina to the bishop of Luni.
During the 14th century, the castle was torn down, not by war, but as a result of a systematic destruction. This is confirmed by the ruins of the buildings, which show signs of having been destroyed using picks. The tower was torn down through the mining technique, that is to say by substituting a line of rocks at the base of the building with wood and setting it on fire.
The castle is in ruins but it has been made safe and strengthened after a recent restoration.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.