Top Historic Sights in Scicli, Italy

Explore the historic highlights of Scicli

Late Baroque Town of Scicli

Scicli was founded by the Sicels (whence probably the name) around 300 BCE. In 864 CE, Scicli was conquered by the Arabs, as part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily. Under their rule it flourished as an agricultural and trade center. In 1091, it was conquered from the Arabs by the Normans, under Roger I of Hauteville, after a fierce battle. Following the various dynasties ruling the Kingdom of Sicily, it was an Aragonese-S ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Scicli, Italy

Scicli Castle

The first development at Scicli was around the Castello dei tre cantoni at the top of San Matteo hill that overlooks the town. The Castello dei tre Cantoni is actually composed of two separate fortifications, the Castelluccio higher up and the Castellaccio at a lower level. This was a defensive structure that, over the centuries, was enlarged and used first by the Arabs, then by the Normans and then later as a military o ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Scicli, Italy

Santa Maria la Nova Church

Santa Maria La Nova is a Baroque-style church in Scicli. A church at the site, dedicated to Santa Maria della Pietà, was present by the 6th-7th centuries. This church was destroyed during the Norman conquest. Reconstruction under the sponsorship of the Confraternity of the same name was funded by Pietro Di Lorenzo Busacca that, doing the will in 1567. The rebuilt church was then destroyed by the 1693 earthquake. Like m ...
Founded: 1801 | Location: Scicli, Italy

San Bartolomeo Church

A church at the site of current San Bartolomeo was present by the 15th century, but the frequent earthquakes that afflict Sicily, including a local tremor in 1693, may have forced the reconstruction of the church to begin in 1752. The facade transitions from late-Baroque to Neoclassical, starting with 18th-century designs by Antonio Mazza, modified later by Salvatore Alì and with the top completed in 1815 by Father Ventu ...
Founded: 1752 | Location: Scicli, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".