The Convent of Monterosso al Mare, property of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor of the province of Genoa, has always been a landmark both for the local community and for visitors to the Cinque Terre.
From the history of Monterosso, it is clear how the Capuchin Friars have always been part of the community and a reliable spiritual reference. The Monterosso population has always loved and respected the Convent, which, together with the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Soviore, represents a deeply intense reference point of devotion.
Local residents have always had a particular veneration for this site. It has always been held in great reverence and is greatly loved by the population.
It overlooks the Monterosso Bay and is located on the promontory that separates the ancient part of the town from the Fegina locality, which has sprung up in recent times.
The convent is visible from all parts of the Cinque Terre and is a prime attraction for tourists, thanks to its historical and artistic treasures. They are reminiscent of the 1600 building in Capuchin style, with the altar and choir in wood. Among its works of art is a 'Crucifixion', attributed to Van Dyck and 'Saint Girolamo the penitent' by Luca Cambiaso. The refectory with its vaulted ceiling features Strozzi’s 'Veronica'. The convent has maintained the characteristics typical of the time of its origins, in addition to the sublime view invites contemplation.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.