Castel del Monte (Italy)

Apulia     See list of castles in Italia

The origin of the building is officially placed January 29, 1240, when Frederick II Hohenstaufen ordered the materials and everything necessary for the construction of a castle, which were prepared by Riccardo Montefuscolo, Justiciar of captains at the church of Sancta Maria de Monte (no longer there). This date, however, is not accepted by all scholars: according to some, in fact, the construction of the castle on that date had already reached to the roofs.

Unclear is also the attribution to a specific architecture: Some attribute the work in Richard of Lentini but many argue that to design the building was the same Frederick II. It seems that it was built on the ruins of a former fortress first Lombard and then Norman. Probably the death of Frederick II (in 1250) the building was not yet finished.

It was rarely used as a party; among these in 1246 remember the wedding of Violante, the illegitimate daughter of Frederick and Bianca Lancia with the Count of Caserta Riccardo Sanseverino.

From the seventeenth century followed a long period of neglect, during which the castle was stripped of furniture and marble wall decorations (whose traces are still visible just behind the capitals) and became well as prison also a shelter for shepherds, bandits and political refugees. In 1876 the castle, in an extremely poor state of conservation, was finally purchased (to the tune of £ 25,000) by the Italian State, which predispose the restoration since 1879. In 1928 the restoration directed by the architect Quagliati removed the material it is outside the castle and demolished part of the collapsing structures, reconstructing them later to give the castle a "rejuvenated" aspect; this did not halt the degradation and had to undertake further restoration between 1975 and 1981. [2] In 1936 Castel del Monte was declared a national monument.

In 1996, UNESCO has listed as a UNESCO World Heritage for the mathematical and astronomical rigor of its shapes and the harmonious union of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity, a typical example of architecture of the Middle Ages.

Images of the castle

Useful infos

Latitude: 41.0847659
Longitude: 16.2686331
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Map of Castel del Monte