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The City of Umbra was founded by Celtic settlers in the 8th century. It became the seat of the first Catholic bishop in the Excalbian Isles in the 13th century following the arrival of Irish Catholic monks in the 12th century.

The walled city, located in a shallow valley between two hills and protected by hilltop fortresses, was chosen in 1652 to become the seat of the newly-created Grand Duke of Saxmere. After the Grand Dke was toppled in the early 19th century, the city became the capital of the Republic of Saxmere, which became a part of the Confederation of Sovereign States in 1829.

When the Grand Duke was restored in 2006 after Saxmere was granted autonomy, the city hosted a gala coronation and celebration attended by several international leaders.


The Royal Palace - which had been used as a museum for two centuries until it was returned to royal service in 2006 - is seen near the centre of the above photo. Also visible are Parliament House, St. Brigid's Cathedral (in the upper left) and the Archbishop's Palace.