Castel del Monte in Apulia

Friday, 8 April 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

Castel del Monte (Italian for “Castle of the Mountain”; Barese: Castìdde du Monte) is a 13th-century citadel and castle situated on a hill in Andria in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. It was built during the 1240s by King Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily. In the 18th century, the castle’s interior marbles and remaining furnishings were removed. It has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and some considered it never to have been intended as a defensive fortress; however, archaeological work has suggested that it originally had a curtain wall. Described by the Enciclopedia Italiana as “the most fascinating castle built by Frederick II”, the site is protected as a World Heritage Site since 1996. It also appears on the Italian version of the one cent Euro coin.

Castel del Monte is situated on a small hill close to the monastery of Santa Maria del Monte, at an altitude of 540 m. When the castle was built, the region was famously fertile with a plentiful supply of water and lush vegetation. It lies in the comune of Andria, province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, occupying the site of an earlier fortress of which no structural remains exist. The castle’s construction is mentioned in only one contemporary source, a document dating to 1240, in which Frederick II ordered the governor of Capitanata to finish some works in it. It was never finished and there is no proof that the he used it as a hunting lodge as commonly stated. It was later turned into a prison, used as a refuge during a plague, and finally fell into disrepair. It originally had marble walls and columns, but all were stripped by vandals or re-used in constructions nearby.

© Sailko/cc-by-3.0 © Sailko/cc-by-3.0 © Sailko/cc-by-3.0 © Sailko/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0 © Sailko/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0 © Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0
<
>
© panoramio.com - Itto Ogami/cc-by-3.0
Because of its relatively small size, it was once considered to be no more than a “hunting lodge”, but scholars now believe it originally had a curtain wall and did serve as a citadel. Frederick was responsible for the construction of many castles in Apulia, but Castel del Monte’s geometric design was unique. The fortress is an octagonal prism with an octagonal tower at each corner. The towers were originally some 5 m higher than now, and they should perhaps include a third floor. Both floors have eight rooms and an eight-sided courtyard occupies the castle’s centre. Each of the main rooms has vaulted ceilings. Three of the corner towers contain staircases. The castle has two entrances, an unobtrusive service entrance and an ornate main entrance. Frederick’s main entrance featured elements from classical design, and may have been influenced by Frederick’s interest in Greco-Roman architecture. The octagonal plan is unusual in castle design. Historians have debated the purpose of the building and it has been suggested that it was intended as a hunting lodge. Another theory is that the octagon is an intermediate symbol between a square (representing the earth) and a circle (representing the sky). Frederick II may have been inspired to build to this shape by either the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which he had seen during the Sixth Crusade, or by the Palatine Chapel of Aachen Cathedral. Occasionally used as a hunting lodge under Manfred of Sicily, the castle become a state prison under the latter’s victor, Charles I of Anjou: here Manfred’s sons Henry, Azzo and Enzo were kept as prisoner after 1266, as well as other Hohenstaufen supporters. The main wall is 25 m high and the eight bastions each 26 m. The sides of the main octagon are 16.5 m long and those of the octagonal towers each 3.1 m. The castle has a diameter of 56 m. Its main entrance faces east.

Around the castle, Andria is the Italian DOC wine region of Castel del Monte that produces red, white and rose wines. Most of the wines are blends but varietal wines can be produced as long as at least 90% of the wine is composed of the same grape. The reds are usually a blend of 65-100% Uva di Troia, up to 35% of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Pinot noir and Aglianico. The roses include 65-100% Uva di Troia and/or Bombino nero with the other red grape varieties filling out the rest. The whites are composed mainly of Pampanuto (65-100%) with other local white grape varieties filling out the rest. Red and rose grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 14 tonnes/ha and must make a wine with a minimum of 12% alcohol level (11% in the case of rose). White wine grapes are limited to a harvest yield of 15 tonnes/ha and must make a wine with a minimum alcohol of 11%. If the wine is to be labeled a Riserva, the wine must be aged at least two years with one of those years in oak/wood and must have a minimum alcohol level of 12.5%.

Read more on Castel del Monte and Wikipedia Castel del Monte (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Malta, the island republic in the Mediterranean

Malta, the island republic in the Mediterranean

[caption id="attachment_152807" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Valletta - Grand Harbour © Henry M. Trotter[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya, with Gibraltar 1,755 km (1,091 mi) to the west and Alexandria 1,508 km (937 mi) to the east. Malta covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Galicia

Theme Week Galicia

[caption id="attachment_153061" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Carnota © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Galicia is an autonomous community in northwest Spain, with the official status of a historic nationality. It comprises the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, being bordered by Portugal to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the north. Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of...

[ read more ]

Rue du Bac in Paris

Rue du Bac in Paris

[caption id="attachment_232287" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Fred Romero/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Rue du Bac is a street on the Rive Gauche, the left bank of the Seine in Paris (7th arrondissement). It is known for the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, which are said to have appeared here several times to the nun Catherine Labouré in 1830. Rue du Bac, like many other streets around Paris at the time, developed as a result of the settlement of religious communities. Its name derives from the ...

[ read more ]

The Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz

[caption id="attachment_6587" align="alignleft" width="590"] Munich Residenz © Gryffindor[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Munich Residenz is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs in the center of the city of Munich. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture and room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections. The complex of buildings contains ten courtyards and the museum displays 130 rooms. The three main parts are the Königsbau (nea...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader, lawyer, documentary filmmaker, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner murdered by the fascist Putin regime

Portrait: Alexei Navalny, opposition leader, lawyer, documentary filmmaker, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner murdered by the fascist Putin regime

[caption id="attachment_240121" align="aligncenter" width="590"] in 2020 © flickr.com - Michal Siergiejevicz/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Alexei Anatolyevich Navalny was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and political prisoner. He organised anti-government demonstrations and ran for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against President Vladimir Putin and his government. Navalny was a Russian Opposition Coordination Council member. He was the leader of the Russia of th...

[ read more ]

Theme Week La Rioja - Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Theme Week La Rioja - Santo Domingo de la Calzada

[caption id="attachment_153256" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Plaza de España © Ecelan/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Santo Domingo de la Calzada is situated on the banks of the Oja River. Its name refers to its founder, Dominic de la Calzada, who built a bridge, hospital, and hotel here for pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The town's Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is dedicated to him. Its facade contains statues of Emeterius and Celedonius. The altar was sculpted in 1537-40 by Damián Forment in the Rena...

[ read more ]

2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil: The venues

2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil: The venues

[responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The World Cup is scheduled to take place at 12 venues from 12 June to 13 July 2014. Off the 12 stadiums, seven are new and five are newly renovated venues. Overall 64 World Cup matches will be played in the stadiums. [caption id="attachment_26362" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Arena Corinthians in São Paulo © Copa2014.gov.br/cc-by-3.0[/caption]The opening match between Brazil and Portugal will be held in Arena Corinthians in Brazil's largest city, São Paulo. Due to the request of at least 65,000 seats f...

[ read more ]

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

[caption id="attachment_217882" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Gilroy is a city in Northern California's Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. Gilroy's origins lie in the village of San Ysidro that grew in the early 19th century out of Rancho San Ysidro, granted to Californio ranchero Ygnacio Ortega in 1809. Following Ygnacio's death in 1833, his daughter Clara Ortega de Gilroy and son-in-law John Gilroy inherited the larges...

[ read more ]

Gothic Quarter in Barcelona

Gothic Quarter in Barcelona

[caption id="attachment_234535" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulàlia © Marco Almbauer[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Gothic Quarter (Catalan: Barri Gòtic) is the historic centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to the Ronda de Sant Pere. It is a part of Ciutat Vella district. The quarter encompasses the oldest parts of the city of Barcelona, and includes the remains of the city's Roman wall and severa...

[ read more ]

Treasure Coast in Florida

Treasure Coast in Florida

[caption id="attachment_192689" align="aligncenter" width="590"] St. Lucie River and Stuart from Sewall's Point © DannyCush[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Treasure Coast is a region of Florida. It is located on the state's Atlantic coast, comprising Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin, and in some definitions, Palm Beach counties. The region, whose name refers to the Spanish Treasure Fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane, evidently emerged from residents' desire to distinguish themselves from Miami and the Gold Coast region to the sout...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© panoramio.com - Sergey Ashmarin/cc-by-sa-3.0
Alhambra in Granada

The Alhambra (lit. 'The Red One') is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It is one...

Brickman's pool area in 1977 © Library of Congress - John Margolie
Borscht Belt or Jewish Alps in Upstate New York

Borscht Belt, or Jewish Alps, is a colloquial term for the mostly defunct summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in...

Alinghi 5 in Valencia 2010 © flickr.com - Yasuhiro Chatani/cc-by-2.0
Alinghi

Alinghi is the syndicate set up by Ernesto Bertarelli, racing under the colors of the Société Nautique de Genève, to...

Schließen