One of the main sights of Lerici is its castle which since its first founding in 1152 was used to help control the entrance of the Gulf of La Spezia. The magnificent castle rises on a rocky promontory overlooking the Bay of Lerici and is considered one of the most impressive and beautiful fortification inall of Liguria.
Due to its location in the Gulf of La Spezia, it has a rich history of disputes between the naval powers in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, evidence of which can be found in the inscriptions still legible at the Castle's entrance.
The first phase is referred to as the Pisan domination. It was the Pisans that began construction in 1152 of the oldest structure of the castle - its pentagonal tower. The Castle’s initial structure was built in 1241 while Lerici was occupied by the Pisans and later extended and reinforced as its role developed during the rule of the Genoese.
The third phase began in 1555 and consisted of the completion of all the fortifications resulting in the current shape of the Castle and let to reinforcing the Lerici Castle’ strategic importance on the eastern border of Liguria.
Today the castle contains a museum of palaeontology.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.