Bereguardo Castle, also called the Castello Visconteo of Bereguardo, was built in the first half of the 14th century, commissioned by Luchino Visconti to present a defense to the western borders of the Milan. It was also used as a winter residence and hunting lodge by Galeazzo II Visconti.
By the 15th century some refurbishment was pursued by Filippo Maria Visconti, who also constructed the Naviglio di Bereguardo, a canal linking to the Naviglio Grande.
The Duke Francesco I Sforza granted the castle to then Lord of Bereguardo, Giovanni Maruzzi da Tolentino, a captain and counselor to the Duke. In 1648, and it remained in this family's possession till the 18th century. After passing through a number of owners, it was donated in 1897 to the commune by the engineer Giulio Pisa. Presently, it houses city hall and the town library.
Originally, the castle was a square, made of brick, but the northern wing was razed. The southern end maintains a moated bridge and shows the original crenellations. The Eastern end has a bifore or single mullioned window. The castle lost a surrounding wall and the interiors are highly modified.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.