The first mention of the Madrignano Castle dates back tothe imperial diploma of Frederick Barbarossa of 1162, where it was assigned to Obizzo Malaspina.
During the Middle Ages, the village of Madrignano was part of the fief of Caliceal Cornoviglio, until 1400. In 1416 it passed to the Genoese. In 1465, Madrignano and Calice were sold to Tommaso Campofregoso, who in turn sold them to the Marquis Azzone di Mulazzo. Shortly afterwards it passed again to the Republic of Genoa, in exchange for Castevoli. The Marquis of Mulazzo reconquered and kept it, but lost Calice. It was then contested again by the Genoese and the Marquis of Mulazzo, and finally thecastle was part of the territories belonging to the Malaspina for three centuries. It survived the battles that destroyed Lunigiana, but the castle was damaged by an assault between 1705 and 1706, during the battles between the French, the Spanish and the Austrians. The manor was occupied for ten days and its structure was badly damaged. From 1772 the area returned to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and followed the same destiny.
Even though the castle’s structure dates back a long time, its original architecture was destroyed by the Genoese in 1416, and it was then enlarged and modified. The only evidence of the structure, are the round corner tower and the impressive ruins.The building has recently been strengthened, restored and assigned to the Ligurian Super intendence of Fine Arts and Landscapes.
Today the castle is owned by the municipality and houses the Museum of Ancient Ligurians.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.