Medieval castles in Apulia

Gioia del Colle Castle

Gioia del Colle Castle dates originally from the Byzantine era from 9th century. It was composed of a rectangular fortified enclosure in limestone. Between the 9th and 10th centuries, the castle was expanded by Richard of Hauteville, the Duke of Apulia. The oldest document where the Castle is mentioned dates back to 1108, so the expansion could have been before the Norman enlargement. Richard of Hauteville transformed the ...
Founded: 9t | Location: Gioia del Colle, Italy

Bisceglie Castle

Bisceglie Castle was originally a tower built around 1060-1070 by Normans and enlarged in the 13th century by Swabian counts. The tower was made later higher by the Angevines. Originally the castle was a four-sided building with five towers; today there are three towers left. The North-East tower is adjacent to the 12th century St Giovanni in Castro Church, which was included in the castle as its chapel during the Angevin ...
Founded: 1060-1070 | Location: Bisceglie, Italy

Massafra Castle

The Castle of Massafra is a medieval castle overlooking the Pizzo Ravine and San Marco. Its structure and architectural motifs are similar to other castles in Apulia, with four towers arranged in a wishbone and pattern and linked by boundary walls. The oldest towers are circular, while the keep is octagonal in the southeast. The first definite record of the castle dates back to the year 970. In 1081, a diploma of the cas ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Massafra, Italy

Carovigno Castle

The first document to mention the castle in Carovignot dates back to 1163. Since then, the fortress fell in the hands of several rulers, the Normans of Geoffrey III of Montescaglioso, the Swabians in 1194 and the Angevines in 1306. In 1382 it passed to the prince of Taranto Raimondo del Balzo Orsini who then bequeathed it to his wife, queen Maria of Enghien, countess of Lecce.  The present appearance of the castle is du ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Carovigno, Italy

San Nicandro Castle

San Nicandro castle as we see it today dates from the 15th century although it was built on the site of a much more older fortress dating from the Norman and Swabian periods. The castle is trapeze shaped with four corner towers, and was renovated during the 17th century. On the north side there are two square towers, one of which is one of the original towers, while on the south side there are two round towers built by t ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: San Nicandro Garganico, Italy

Andrano Castle

Spinola-Caracciolo castle in Andrano was built in the 14th century and restored a century later. The square form castle was corner towers and machicolations.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Andrano, 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

Sannicandro di Bari Castle

The Norman-Hohenstaufen Castle in Sannicandro di Bari is composed of two distinct parts, put into each other, built in separate periods by the Byzantines and the Hohenstaufens. Its construction dates back to 916, the initiative of the Byzantine general Niccolò Piccingli, who had ordered the construction of a fortress for the defence of Apulia against the Saracens. The original core of the castle, of Byzantine origin, con ...
Founded: 916 AD | Location: Sannicandro di Bari, Italy

Brindisi Swabian Castle

The Castello Svevo di Brindisi or Castello Svevo-Aragonese (because of Hohenstaufen origin and the later conversion into the reign of the house Aragón called), is located in the city Brindisi in the Italian region of Apulia. The city ​​castle was built on the edge of the old town and the inner part of the harbor, so that both important parts of the city could be defended from the castle. According to the testimony o ...
Founded: 1227 | Location: Brindisi, Italy

Muscettola Castle

Muscettola Castle was dates from the 12th-13th centuries and was rebuilt during the Angevin period in the late 14th century. Muscettola family owned it from 1617 until mid-19th century. After them the castle came under the ownership of a wealthy local family who used it for olive oil, wine and tobacco production. Muscettola castle is now owned by the Municipality of Leporano, who have completed much restoration in order ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Leporano, Italy

Falconibus Castle

Falconibus Castle in Pulsano was originally erected in the 12th-14th centuries, but destroyed in 1388. De Falconibus family started to rebuild it around 1430. It has a quadrangular plant and five towers of different heights and bases.
Founded: 1430 | Location: Pulsano, Italy

Santo Stefano Castle

The Castello di Santo Stefano is an important coastal fortress outside the city of Monopoli in the Italian region of Apulia. Throughout the Middle Ages it was an essential component of the city's complex and articulated defense system. The castle, which was built in 1086 at the behest of Goffredo, Count of Conversano, is located on a peninsula between two bays of the Adriatic Sea that form two small natural ha ...
Founded: 1086 | Location: Monopoli, Italy

Gravina Castle

According to Giorgio Vasari, Gravina castle was designed in 1231 by one Fuccio from Florence. It was built by oly Roman Emperor Frederick II on the hill nearby the town, originally a base for bird hunting. The 58 x 29m rectangular size castle had four towers.
Founded: 1231 | Location: Gravina in Puglia, Italy

Tutino Castle

The Tutino Castle, or better the Trane"s Castle in Tricase is among the few in the Salento to keep still part of the original moat. Built in the 15th century, was for centuries a safe shelter for the inhabitants of the hamlet of Tutino. Its mighty walls, high 6-7 meters thick and 1.40 meters, are made of stones and bolus and have the lower part the escarpment. Of the numerous towers positioned along the wall circuit, ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Tricase, Italy

Marchione Castle

Marchione castle was a hunting lodge of the Acquaviva of Aragona, counts of Conversano, from around the year 1000 AD. The sumptuous building, with a rectangular shape and four cylindrical keeps on the corner, has been built on three floors. The ground floor, the mezzanine and the four towers date back to the Middle Ages, while the upper floor dates back to the Neoclassic- Baroque age, maybe a work by the school of Van ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Conversano, Italy

Castelpagano Castle

Castelpagano Castle has a quadrangular form of 150 metres of perimeter with a pentagonal tower and two circular towers. In the middle of the structure a well tank was used to collect rainwater. The castle had been there since the beginning of the 11th century. Indeed, from the description of the borders of the abbey of San Giovanni de Lama drawn up to confirm the property by the Catapan Basil Bojannes, it is evident that ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Apricena, Italy

Caprarica Castle

The Castello di Caprarica is a castle in the municipality of Tricase. The building of the fortress was probably a consequence of the climate of fear that spread after the Turkish conquest of Otranto in 1480 and the subsequent Turkish raids. The fortress has a rectangular plan and was once surrounded by a moat. The 6-7 meters high and 1.4 meters thick walls were made from irregularly shaped blocks of brown Carparo - limes ...
Founded: 1480-1524 | Location: Tricase, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.

The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.

The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.