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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1316
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alfia Di Gregorio (2 years ago)
Cute village with a delicious sweet shop Fiasconaro!
John Canessa (2 years ago)
It is ancient but well maintained. Most rooms have been refurbished. The staff was very welcoming and knowledgeable. Took several pictures. Had a great time.
A.j. Swain (2 years ago)
Very pleasant stop during the drive around the national park. Choice of cafes and Gelateria. A beautiful old town to wander
Vincenzo Sferruzza (2 years ago)
The town is nice, on a hill in the country side. A lots of cultural and musical event. The mountain and the sea very close. A good place to spend the summer vacation in.
Peter Herka (2 years ago)
If I compare this castle to other historical buildings in Sicily, it is not worth of going inside and paying entrance fee. Unbalance of inner courtyard area is striking (I am attaching photo). It is a visual chaos. You can see some average religious artifacts inside the museum. Most interesting was the chapel, but lets be honest - all the churches and chapels in Sicily are beautiful. I recommend to spend more time exploring the streets and miss this tour.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.