Castles and fortifications in Italy

Graines Castle

Graines castle occupies the summit of a rocky spur which commands Brusson and most of the Val d"Ayas. In medieval times, it communicated through flag or mirror messages with the nearby Bonot Tower and the Villa Castle in Challand-Saint-Victor. The fief of Graines is documented since 515, when King Sigismund of Burgundy donated it to the newly formed Abbey of St. Maurice. The castle was perhaps built in the 11th ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Brusson, Italy

Montesegale Castle

The Castello di Montesegaleis a rural hilltop medieval fortress. It was originally built in the 14th century but over the next centuries was destroyed and rebuilt. An earlier 11th-century tower may have existed at the site. Documents from 1164 indicate that Emperor Federico Barbarossa conceded a castle or fortress at Montesegale to Pavia. The property was owned by the Count Gambarana by 1311, who became the lord of Mont ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Montesegale, Italy

Eufemio Castle

Eufemio Castle is mentioned in several historical sources, the oldest dating back to the first decades of the 12th century. It was described as an important place for the old town, thanks to its strategic position. In the 13th century, the importance of the Eufemio Castle grew considerably, as it was one of the main ones imperial castles of the reign of Frederick II of Swabia, whose guards guarded him during the battle ag ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calatafimi-Segesta, Italy

Fort Wohlgemuth

Fort Wohlgemuth was built between 1850 and 1851. It is called Wohlgemuth because it is dedicated to an Austrian general, who fought in the battles of the year 1848. It has been built by using local stones and it has got fried brick archivolts. After the annexation of Veneto to Italy, it became property of the Italians. Since then it has been modified and, in fact, a new battery named “low Rivoli” was built in ...
Founded: 1850-1851 | Location: Rivoli Veronese, Italy

Rotund Castle

Rotund castle was built around 900 by the bishops of Chur. In 1150 the bishop give the castle to noble family Rotund. After the family line died out in 1288 the castle has had several owners. It was restored in the 15th century. The ruin is freely accessible but there is a risk of collapse.
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Tubre, Italy

Vorst Castle

Vorst castle was built in the late 13th century. It has been owned by the Vorst, Gomion, Enn and Starkenberg families. Today the castle is in the possession of the Fuchs family and can not be visited.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lagundo, Italy

Alfonsino Castle

The Aragonese Alfonsino Castle, best known as Forte a Mare ('Sea Fort'), was built by King Ferdinand I of Naples in 1491 on the S. Andrea island facing the port of Brindisi. It is divided into two sections: the 'Red Castle' (from the color of its bricks) and the more recent Fort. The castle was besieged by Venetians in 1529 and French army in 1799. It was damaged by storm in the modern age and was aba ...
Founded: 1491 | Location: Brindisi, Italy

Bosses Castle

Bosses Castle stands next to the Parish Church of Saint-Léonard in Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses. It is a solid monoblock building embellished by cross windows, with three storeys above ground. The fiefdom dates back to the twelfth century: it belonged to the homonymous family ‘de Bocha’, enfeoffed by the Lords of Quart. After the tower was dismantled due to conflicts with the Count of Savoy at the beginning of the 13th ce ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Saint Rhemy, Italy

Bramafam Tower

Bramafam Tower stands at the corner of Via Bramafam and Viale G. Carducci, along the southern side of the Roman walls. Its official name is Bramafam Castle, but it is commonly referred to as the Tower. It has a circular rampart, with the Roman walls still visible at its base, and part of the tower which flanked Porta Principalis Dextera, on which it was constructed in around the 12-13th centuries. It belonged to the fa ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Aosta, Italy

Gavone Castle

The exact building date of Castel Gavone ('Castrum Govonis'), the former seat of the Del Carretto Marquisses, is still unknown. The castle rises on a huge, steep curvilinear rampart on top of the Becchignolo hill. The castle was allegedly built by Enrico II in 1181 on remains of previous defensive structures. It was certainly fortified in 1292. Destroyed during the struggles with Genoa, it was rebuilt by Giovan ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Finale Ligure, Italy

Siculiana Castle

The Chiaramonte Castle of Siculiana, situated in thehomonymous town, is a rich and splendid architectural monument. It was built on the top of a headland, probably seat of the ancient cena. The castle dominated, with its towers, the village and the valley that lies gently on the Mediterranean sea. The origin of the fortress is Arab. The ancient arab castle was rebuilt in 1314, by order of Federico Chiaramonte. In 1311 Co ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Siculiana, Italy

Caldes Castle

The large five-floor tower house from the 13th century was donated to the Thun family, who incorporated it into a new square building, the current Caldes Castle. The inside is fascinating, with vaulted ceilings, wood panelling and frescoed rooms.  Quite remarkable are the count’s room and the ballroom.  After climbing the tower’s wooden staircase, you enter a room with frescoes all over the walls, telling ancient s ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Caldes, Italy

Trostburg Castle

The impressive Trostburg Castle in Valle Isarco hosts the South Tyrolean Castles Museum. This one of the most famous and splendid castles of South Tyrol is located on an eastern hillside on a natural rocky promontory. The history of the castle dates back to the 12th century - it has been mentioned for the first time in 1173 AD as place of residence of a certain “Cunrat de Trosperch” (Konrad of Trostberg), descending ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Waidbruck, Italy

Arzignano Castle

A primitive castle was built in the 10th or 11th century on the highest hill on Arzignano, where now stands the church of St. Matthew. Scaligeri family, who in 1312 became masters of town, erected fortifications to the current site, consist of a ring of walls of 650 meters, with 2 door, 10 turrets and fortress.
Founded: c. 1370 | Location: Arzignano, Italy

Balaiana Castle

The Balaiana Castle is situated on Mount San Leonardo, at 299 metres above sea level, dominating the surrounding valley. You can walk through a staircase carved between granite rocks where the start path is located in the parking area, just 5 km from the village, on the road to Arzachena. The castle"s unique architecture, with features such as the special interlocking blocks of granite corners, dates back to the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Luogosanto, Italy

Goldrain Castle

Goldrain Castle was built in the mid-14th century. The Renaissance portions were constructed in the 17th Century by order of Count Hendl. Nowadays Castle Goldrain is owned by the Laces Municipality and the western regional district Cultural Institute.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Laces, Italy

Reifenstein Castle

Reifenstein Castle (Castel Tasso in Italian) is one of the best preserved castles of South Tyrol. The castle was first documented in 1100 AD as feud of the Bavarian Earls Lechsgmünd, while from 1110 on the castle was enfeoffed to the Lords of Stilves, who proceeded in building the castle and called it “Reifenstein”. In the following centuries the castle repeatedly changed hands, up to the year 1405, when the Lords o ...
Founded: 1100 | Location: Vipiteno, Italy

Oramala Castle

Oramala Castle was built in the 11th century by the Malaspina ancestors and remained in family ownership, albeit with various interruptions, for many centuries. Around 1200, in its greatest splendor, it was a prestigious cultural center housing Provençal troubadours. The castle was refortified in 1474 against the firearms. Malaspina family owned it until the 18th century, but after that it started to decay. The restorat ...
Founded: c. 1029 | Location: Val di Nizza, Italy

Branciforti Castle

The monumental complex of the Branciforti Castle is located at the highest point of the village of Raccuja to dominate the whole valley. It dates back to the Norman era, even if its origins are to be found between the Roman and the Arab ages. Over the centuries the Castle was subjected to numerous changes, the most important of which dates back to 1200s when the entire building passed under the ownership of Baron Orioles. ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Raccuja, Italy

Favara Castle

Built in the 13th century by the Chiaramonte family, the Favara castle is of particular interest because it represents the transitional phase between castle and palace. The Palace, as it is in fact commonly called because of the square arrangement of its various parts, recalls the typical lay-out of the Swabian castles that sprang up in eastern Sicily and may be compared with the palacia or solacia built by King Frederick ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Favara, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.