Cefalù Castle

Cefalù, Italy

Cefalù Castle lies on the mountain above the town of the same name. The top of Cefalù Rock was already inhabited in ancient times as the remains of a temple with megalithic stonework attests. Under Byzantine rule the settlement on the mountain developed into a real town, with the consequent partial depopulation of the town center below. In the years 837-838 Cefalù withstood a first attack of the Muslims. After a new siege, which occurred in the years 857-858, the town was conquered.

During the 11th century the area was conquered by the Normans and they probably built Cefalù Castle around 1063. The present castle probably dates back to the 12th century. Archaeological evidence tells that it was probably destroyed by fire at the end of the 13th century. The castle was used during the 14th and 15th centuries, underwent extensive rearrangements between the 16th and 17th century and during the 19th century saw the total and definitive abandonment of the complex that had, meanwhile, lost military importance.

The top of Cefalù Rock with the castle now serves as a archaeological city park. It is freely accessible during daytime. Getting to the castle however is quite hard as the only way to get up this 270 meters high mountain is walking up a very long and winding footpath. And although the ruins may not be that impressive, the views from the rock over the surrounding land and sea are beautiful.

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Founded: c. 1063
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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