The Castles of Bellinzona count among the most outstanding examples of heavy military architecture in the Alpine region. Because they safeguarded access to the Alpine passes, these late-medieval castles were of considerable value to the Duchy of Milan and coveted by the Old Swiss Confederation.
Ill-matched adversaries from the same corner of the country. In 1386, erstwhile ‘neighbours’ faced each other on the battlefield at Sempach. The age of knights and castles was coming to an end. The future belonged to the burgeoning cities and towns.
The plague epidemic in the Middle Ages, and its aftermath, readily invites comparison with the coronavirus pandemic. In his fascinating account of the ‘Great Plague’, however, historian Volker Reinhardt also warns of the limitations of such comparisons.
The legends of the saints are written without footnotes. They can’t be checked and verified. The significance of these legends lies in the moral ideal that lives on in elaborate portrayals as a gentle entreaty to follow their saintly example.