Medieval castles in Liguria

Spotorno Castle

Spotorno Castle was built probably in the 12th century by the Bishopric of Savona. It was destroyed and rebuilt in the wars against Genoa. The current square form dates from the 14th-16th centuries. De Loterio family owned the castle from the 16th century until First World War.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Spotorno, Italy

Castelnuovo Magra Castle

Castelnuovo Magra is mainly known for its ancient castle which was once the capital of the Bishop of Luni"s domain. The castle had been originally built in the 12th century by Bishop Walter and then later completed by Henry of Fucecchio who developed the Code Pelavicino. Quite a lot of changes and additions have been made to the castle over the centuries. Today, visitors can see the remains of the large ancient walls ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Castelnuovo Magra, Italy

Pietra di Vobbia Castle

Pietra di Vobbia Castle is a rare example of contamination between the work of men and nature, the Castle of Pietra overlooks the Scrivia Valley. An unconquerable fortress, it is built between two rock towers. Recently restored, you can visit it today in all its ancient charm. Embedded between two rock towers and perfectly integrated with nature, the castle of Pietra di Vobbia has retained the typical atmosphere of the ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Vobbia, Italy

Villafranca Castle

Villafranca Castle was built around 1130 and it was heavily altered in 14th and 15th centuries.
Founded: c. 1130 | Location: Moneglia, Italy

Arcola Castle

Arcola is a small, charming town perched on top of the hills separating the Gulf of La Spezia and the Magra valley offering stunning panoramas of the Apuane Alps. In the 11th century Arcola became an important center for the feudal Obertenghi family who built on top of the hill a castle - Castello degli Obertenghi, of which only its tall pentagonal tower remains. The castle itself had a rich history and had an important ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Arcola, Italy

Chiavari Castle

Chiavari Castle was built after the convention of perpetual league signed on 1138 between Genoa and Fieschi. The construction started on 1140 and finished probably on 1147. It is one of the first castle erected in the Italian Riviera, over a hill dominating and defending a seafaring village, called Clavai, today Chiavari. In 1172 the castle was besieged by Opizzone Malaspina, while in 1278 it fell into the hands of Morue ...
Founded: 1140 | Location: Chiavari, 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

Millesimo Castle

Millesimo castle was built in the 13th century and a sturdy building still overlooking the town. It was partially demolished in 1553 and suffered damage in 1796 during the war of French and Piedmonte armies.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Millesimo, Italy

Trebiano Castle

Trebiano Castle was documented first in 963 AD. It was built on a roughly square form with four corner towers.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Trebiano Magra, Italy

Campo Ligure Castle

Campo Ligure castle was built in the 12th or 13th centuries and was damaged and rebuilt in several battles. It was enforced by the Spinola family of Genoa since 1309.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Campo Ligure, Italy

Bardineto Castle

Bardineto Castle was probably built by the Marquis Del Carretto in the 13th century. The first document dates from 1268. The castle was demolished in 1795 during the War of the First Coalition (by French Army).
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bardineto, Italy

Senarega Castle

Senarega Castle was built in the 12th century by the Senarega family. It had originally a tower, to which the lower block was added during the 15th century, highlighting the simple square shape of the whole block. On the ground floor there is a large fireplace for heating the room, while on the upper floor there would have been a wooden oven for cooking food, and from here the tower could also be accessed. In additio ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Senarega, Italy

Cairo Montenotte Castle

Cairo Montenotte castle is famous for having been the object of fighting up to the 16th and 17th centuries because of the battles of succession between the Genoese, the French, the Spanish and the Savoys. These battles devastated this region, causing it to be abandoned definitively by the last owners, who preferred to remain in the village.The origins of the castle go back to long ago, more specifically to the period betw ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cairo Montenotte, Italy

Suvero Castle

The castle of Suvero was built in the 12th century by the Malaspinadi Villafranca on a hill overlooking the village. During the 15th century it was assigned to the Campofregoso, after Genoa had conquered the territories of the Malaspina. At the behest of King Louis XII, the Genoese returned it to the original owners. After the death of Spinetta Malaspina, lord of Suvero, it became an independent fief assigned to Rinaldo M ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Rocchetta di Vara, Italy

Roccavignale Castle

Roccavignale Castle origin is unknown, but the Rochae Vinealis  was mentioned in 998 AD. The castle was expanded in the 14th century by Carrettesca family. It was burned down in 1799 in the wars between French and Piedmonte armies.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Roccavignale, Italy

Castel d'Appio

Castel d'Appio is a medieval castle built by the Genoese in the 13th century. It occupies the site of an Roman militarity camp (castrum) and early Ligurian defense post. The castle lost its purpose in the 18th century and was partially demolished. Today parts of walls and towers remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ventimiglia, Italy

Savignone Castle

Savignone Castle has a semi-circular great tower and rear rampart, and its position on a conglomerate spur that presents a cliff of 150 metres on one side is its main natural defence. In the 13th century the Fieschis took possession of Savignone and its castle, which only seemed to be lived in during the summer. The fief was certainly a feather in the cap of this lineage because its position in the Scrivia Valley was exce ...
Founded: c. 1207 | Location: Savignone, Italy

Calice al Cornoviglio Castle

Calice al Cornoviglio Castle is situated atop a hill overlooking the village. Founded in the 11th century, the first appearance in historical sources dates from 1206 when an act stated that the bishop of Luniwas to return the property of the castrum calisi (original name of the castle) to Guglielmoand Corrado Malaspina. The castle had belonged to the Malaspina family from the 12th century on, but in the 13th century it w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calice Al Cornoviglio, Italy

Madrignano Castle

The first mention of the Madrignano Castle dates back tothe imperial diploma of Frederick Barbarossa of 1162, where it was assigned to Obizzo Malaspina. During the Middle Ages, the village of Madrignano was part of the fief of Caliceal Cornoviglio, until 1400. In 1416 it passed to the Genoese. In 1465, Madrignano and Calice were sold to Tommaso Campofregoso, who in turn sold them to the Marquis Azzone di Mulazzo. Shortly ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Madrignano, Italy

Borgo Fornari Castle

Castle of Ronco Scrivia was built in the 11th-12th centuries and was a former noble residence of the Spinola. Today only a few fragments remain of the original medieval fortress.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Ronco Scrivia, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Holy Trinity Column

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.

The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.

Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.

In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.

The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.