Castello Normanno

Paternò, Italy

The Castello Normanno ('Norman Castle') in Paternò was built in 1072 by Count Roger I of Sicily to protect the Simeto valley from Islamic raids. The first nucleus of the fortress was soon enlarged, and it subsequently lost its original military functions. Under Henry VI it was made the seat of the Count of Paternò, assigned to his fellow Swabian Bartholomew of Luci. Later the castle housed kings and queens, such as Henry's son Emperor Frederick II, Eleanor of Anjou and Blanche I of Navarre, as the castle had been included in the so-called Camera Reginale estates ('Queen's Chamber') by King Frederick III of Sicily.

The Chamber was abolished in the 15th century, and in 1431 the castle was acquired by the Special family; until 1456 it was owned by the Moncada family. Used as a jail, in the following centuries it became increasingly decayed, until restoration work begun in the 19th century brought it back to its ancient prominence.

The castle has a rectangular plan, on three floors, with a height of 34 m. Originally, it had Ghibelline-style merlons, of which today only remains can be seen. Notable is the colour effect created by the dark shade of the stones and the frames of the Gothic-style mullioned windows, in white limestone.

The first-storey houses several service chambers and the Chapel of St. John, decorated with precious 13th-century frescoes. The piano nobile houses a large Weapons Hall. The king's residence was located in the upper floor.



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Via Gancia 4, Paternò, Italy
See all sites in Paternò


Founded: 1072
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Yanyan Yanyan (Lulala) (3 years ago)
The road go to the castello is very nice . For me it is more valuable than the castello.
pts pts (3 years ago)
Absolutely fantastic, huge, Norman castle, in their Romanesque style ( really, Norman style). Wish it were open when I visited!!!!!
Hannah Imordi (3 years ago)
It gives a good view of the city and Etnea, it's a nice place to visit with families and friends
Flavia Pittalà (4 years ago)
One of the few castles that can boast of being built on an inactive volcano, it is also entirely built with the typical black volcanic stone. The breathtaking panorama that is all around gives a sense of freedom. Etna on the left of the castle in front of the beautiful staircase, perhaps once home to the Paternese people and on the right the beautiful church of Santa Maria dell'alto. Furthermore, if you have time and if you find it open, I find it only right to make a visit, albeit quick, on the right of the historic hill where the beautiful tree-lined avenue gives access to the monumental cemetery where you will find very beautiful sculptures made by local master sculptors.
Andrea Luigi Fontanazza (4 years ago)
My city, a place full of history, symbol of us Paternesi.
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