Castelbuono Castle

Castelbuono, Italy

The construction of the Castelbuono Castle began in 1316, by order of Count Francesco I of Ventimiglia, over the ruins of the ancient Byzantine town of Ypsigro, high on the San Pietro hill.

The castle mixes Arab-Norman features with others typical of the castles built during the Hohenstaufen rule of southern Italy: the cube shape recalls Arabic architecture; the square towers, although incorporated into those of the façade, reflect Norman architectural style, as also the battlements; and the round tower recalls aspects of Frederick II's times architecture.

The structure is on three floors, the first floor for the servants, with the essential services, the second for the nobility, with the sumptuous Cappella Palatina, and the third for the court and for guests.

The Cappella Palatina ('Palace Chapel') was built in 1683 by the brothers Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta, with a great profusion of precious marble, stuccowork, putti, and friezes that commemorate the most resplendent moments in the history of the House of Ventimiglia. Here is kept the holy relic of the skull of Saint Anne, in an urn that acts as the pedestal to the sculpted bust of Castelbuono's patron saint.

There are also the traditional underground dungeons and a tunnel that leads to the Church of San Francesco.



Your name


Founded: 1316
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Wilson (7 months ago)
There is lots to see in Castelbuono and the castle and museum are a must. It is a most interesting building with an internal courtyard with stairs. At each floor there are exhibition and display spaces. At the very top is the WC! Also terrific views. Entry is 5 euro or 3 for over 60 and concessions. Photography is not allowed inside.
M.P. van Sijll (8 months ago)
Great Castello, good condition. But worth 7 euros entrance? NO!
Noel Zahra (12 months ago)
Amazing place especially for those who love culture and history. Enjoy!!!!
Chris Bing (2 years ago)
Worth a look if in town, but otherwise not. Some mediocre art, bit of history, interesting chapel. We arrived 30 mins before lunch closure and didn't have to rush to see it all.
Merri Moonee (2 years ago)
Fascinating place to visit, with a thorough exhibition on local history, lots of contemporary art and a magnificent chapel with crazy stucco work. Mostly with English translations. Not your average medieval castle visit, check it out.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hohenwerfen Castle

Hohenwerfen Castle stands high above the Austrian town of Werfen in the Salzach valley. The castle is surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the adjacent Tennengebirge mountain range. The fortification is a 'sister' of Hohensalzburg Castle both dated from the 11th century.

The former fortification was built between 1075 and 1078 during the Imperial Investiture Controversy by the order of Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg as a strategic bulwark. Gebhard, an ally of Pope Gregory VII and the anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfelden, had three major castles extended to secure the Salzburg archbishopric against the forces of King Henry IV: Hohenwerfen, Hohensalzburg and Petersberg Castle at Friesach in Carinthia.