Medieval castles in Piedmont

Ivrea Castle

Ivrea Castle was built on behalf of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, in 1358. Ivrea was built to signify the dominance of the House of Savoy over the region. The castle has four towers erected on a plan flank. It is located next to a cathedral and a bishop"s palace. The castle is mentioned in the work of Giosuè Carducci. The most significant changes were recorded at the end of the 18th century, when the castle was trans ...
Founded: 1358 | Location: Ivrea, Italy

Masino Castle

For more than a thousand years, Masino Castle has overlooked the immense Canavese plain from high ground in front of the evocative morainic barrier of the Serra di Ivrea – an intact and seemingly endless landscape. The strategic location of the castle resulted in it being frequently attacked, but the noble Valperga dynasty, whom, legend has it, are descended from Arduin of Ivrea, the first King of Italy, retained owners ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Via del Castello, Italy

Castello Contessa Adelaide

From high up on the rock of Susa, this castle has witnessed millennia of history. In 1046, Countess Adelaïde received here her husband Otto, Count of Savoy, bringing him the dowry of the marquisate of Susa and the county of Torino. The Castle was presumed to be built in the Middle Ages, this also explains the presence of mullioned windows on the walls, a typical element of that era. Over the years he underwent several r ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Susa, Italy

Fort of Exilles

The Exilles Fort (Forte di Exilles) is a fortified complex in the Susa Valley. Together with the nearby Fort of Fenestrelle and the Forte Albertino it was part of the defensive line between the House of Savoy lands and France: both these states held it in different phases depending on the outcome of the various wars. It is located on a spur commanding one of the narrowest sections of the Susa Valley, along the main road c ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Susa, Italy

Rivalta di Torino Castle

Rivalta di Torino is home to a medieval castle, around which the town originated starting from the 11th century. The castle was destroyed in 1229 and rebuilt after that. The castle and the village were owned by the Orsini local branch until 1823. The castle has a massive appearance and was once accessed through a drawbridge, now replaced by a stone one.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Rivalta di Torino, Italy

Avigliana Castle

The old town of Avigliana is one of the most significant in Piedmont, for its medieval architecture and its churches. The castle was probably built in 942 by the Marqueses Arduinici of Turin (it was probably Arduino the Hairless who built the first settlement of Castrum Avilianae) on the top of Mount Pezzulano. This castle was used by the Counts of Savoy at least from 1137. In 1691, after conquering it, the French Marshal ...
Founded: 942 AD | Location: Avigliana, Italy

Bardassano Castle

Bardassano Castle was built in the 11-13th centuries and is well-preserved. For long time it was transformed in prison from the Chieri Council after demanding the ownership after arguments between aristocratic families. The massive main building is built of brick and has corner towers. The terraces were made in the 17th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gassino Torinese, Italy

Borello Castle

Borello Castle was probably built in the 13th century and documented first time in the 15th century. It was originally built by Borello family, but later was in hands of Aschierie, Bartolomei ja Rotari di Susa families. The square form castle ruins remain.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bussoleno, Italy

Malgrà Castle

The imposing outline of the Castle of Malgrà has been marking the outline of the town of Rivarolo since 1333, the year in which the Counts of San Martino began its construction. Built as a military presidium, it then became a welcoming noble mansion thanks to a series of important structural and decorative interventions, made possible by the peacetime which began in the 14th century. The building originally included two ...
Founded: 1333 | Location: Rivarolo Canavese, Italy

San Giorio di Susa Castle

San Giorio di Susa Castle was built probably in the mid-13th century. The complex is divided in the upper and lower castle. Today it is ruined but tower and hall exists.
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Giorio di Susa, Italy

Castello Della Rovere

The Della Rovere Castle dates from 1480 to 1517 by Cardinal Domenico della Rovere and represents a rare example of Renaissance architecture in Piemonte. The magnificent cloister dated 1513/1515, with its terracotta features and the recently discovered 16th century frescoes by the school of Pinturicchio, are particularly significant. In 1776 it becomes the headquarters of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory, strongly backed by ...
Founded: 1480-1517 | Location: Vinovo, Italy

Castellamonte Castle

The Castellamonte Castle is a medieval building situated on the hill overlooking the city. The earliest sources that document its presence dating back to 1066, but the structure had to be earlier. It became one of the most important fortified structures of Canavese under the descendants of Arduino, Marquis of Ivrea, then king of Italy: the wall surrounded the whole hill and was accessible by seven gates still visible. Th ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Castellamonte, Italy

Villar Dora Castle

The castle of Villar Dora is a medieval feudal residence, among the best preserved of the Susa valley. It was built in the 13th century to the rocky hill which has been occupied since Roman times. The castle was renovated in Gothic style in the 14th century by Provana family. In the early 20th century, Count Antonielli d"Oulx carried out restoration works that returned the original medieval aspect to the central body ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Villar Dora, Italy

Valperga Castle

According to legend, Valperga Castle was founded during the second half of the 10th century by Dadone, father of King Arduino. The hamlet"s fortresses, which date back to the 14th century - a period of major conflict between the Valperga family and the San Martino family, were renovated in the 16th century. But the structure of the fortress changed during the 17th century when the people, brought to their knees from ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Valperga, Italy

Favria Castle

Favria Castle dates back to the 12th century. It belonged for a long time to the Marquises of Montferrat, serving in the protection of their domains. In 1446, William VIII, Marquis of Montferrat took steps towatrds the consolidation of the castle, giving impetus to the development of the settlement of Favria. The property then belonged to the Solaro di Govone family, who transformed the castle into an elegant residence. ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Favria, Italy

Banchette Castle

Banchette Castle was built in the 12th century to the grounds of ancient Roman fort. The current appearance dates from the 19th century, when it was restored by Emilio Pinchia.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Banchette, Italy

Strambino Castle

Strambino Castle was documented first time in the 12th century and was probably owned by the bishop of Ivrea. The castle has been altered several times, some parts of original 11th century and 15th century Gothic structures remain. The main part is noble residence from the 17th century.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Strambino, Italy

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Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.