Scaliger Castle of Sirmione
In Sirmione, directly on Lake Garda, stands the moated castle of the Scaligeri, the former lords of Verona. It was built in the 13th century and still features battlements, towers and a drawbridge.
The castle, which is one of the most important medieval water fortresses in Europe, once hosted some gruesome scenes.
About Patarines and Pyres
Sirmione was once the centre of the Patarines. The Patarines were of the opinion that the devil created the world, and God created the soul. On behalf of the Pope, the so-called heretics burned mercilessly in the middle of the castle on blazing pyres.
A model defence system
Today, the castle is safely accessible to the public and can be accessed via the drawbridge as it used to be. Through a gate, with the coat of arms of the city of Venice (a winged lion), and the coat of arms of the Scaligeri (a ladder), you come into the yard, formerly an observation post of the guards. Through the embrasure, the local access was visible. A crenellated masonry, battlements, corner towers and drawbridges compliment the well-designed defence system of the fortress.
The central tower offers a fantastic view over the harbour and Lake Garda, and the Roman and medieval exhibits in the vault around the castle courtyard are worth seeing. The Roman relics include reliefs, mosaics and a milestone, and the medieval discoveries are from excavations of the Lombard monastery of San Salvatore on the Cortine hill.