Donnafugata Castle

Donnafugata, Italy

Although the origins of Donnafugata Castle can be traced to the 14th-century most of its current Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic appearance belongs to the 19th century.

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Benjamin Kalish (4 months ago)
This incredibly well preserved castle is a hidden gem in the heart of southern Sicily. The castle is actually a compound structure consisting of an earlier moorish/norman castle and a later idealized palace constructed in the 1800s for the ruling aristocracy of Sicily. What's good: +The state of preservation +display signs are dual language +The cost of admission (6€ for the castle and grounds, 5€ for the museum) +The view from the terrace is amazing +the grounds are beautiful and expansive +the original furniture (its eye opening to compare what was considered high end then to what we have now) +the stone maze was great for the kids (the walls between 5.5 feet and 6 feet tall) it has a single entrance/exit and you go to the middle. You go back out the way you came it) +the old growth trees are great for climbing. +the restaurant just before you enter is some of the best pasta we had in our 2.5 years in Italy. If its busy, make a reservation on your way up to the castle. +parking is plentiful and cheap at 2€ What's not so great -the drive. There is no convenient way to get there from anywhere you are likely to stay. But it is a really pretty drive through parts of the countryside you wont normally get to see. Overall, this castle was well worth the trip out to see it. It's about a 2 hour drive from Catania if you go slow and is substantially less if you pick up the pace a little. The attendants speak some English if you need a little help; but, as always, try to start with Italian first if you can. If you get there early, you will need to pay for parking on the way out. Exact change is expected and appreciated.
Mr Lofty (5 months ago)
Amazing hidden gem like a National Trust property and the best trattoria ever in the road up to the entrance. Massive salad, enormous pizzas, everything tasted delicious, & just normal prices.
Lila Laub (5 months ago)
Worthwhile visit, gardens and grounds lovely with shady benches to hide from the sun.
Peter Reime (6 months ago)
Beautiful if somewhat aging former residence with fully furnished rooms to view and some magnificent gardens (if a little unkempt). The self guided tour follows a single route through the building on the first floor with info panels in English & Italian. Parking in the large gravel car park is €2 all day (note: there is little shade)
Will Falconer (6 months ago)
In an area of outstanding baroque architecture it's quite a relief to find something a bit different, in this case 19th century fake. The Venetian front looks superb and the whole palace has a certain grandeur but the interior doesn't look very comfortable or particularly grand. But as I only went there to see the terrace where Inspector Montalbano was greeted by the Mafia boss I was pleasantly surprised!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Seville Cathedral

Seville's cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage. After its completion in the early 16th century, Seville Cathedral supplanted Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral in the world, a title the Byzantine church had held for nearly a thousand years.

History

The basilica occupies the site of the great Aljama mosque, built in the late 12th century by the Almohads, the ruling Moorish dynasty, of which the only remaining parts are the Patio de Naranjas, the Puerta del Perdon (on Calle Alemanes, on the north side), and the Giralda (formerly the minaret, now the belltower).

Shortly after Seville's conquest by Ferdinand III, the mosque was converted into the city's cathedral. Its orientation was changed and its spaces partitioned and adorned to suit Christian worship practices. The internal space was gradually divided into chapels by constructing walls in the bays along the northern and southern walls. Almost the entire eastern half of the cathedral was occupied by the royal chapel that would hold the bodies of Ferdinand, his wife and Alfonso the Wise.

In 1401, city leaders decided to build a new cathedral to replace the grand mosque that served as the cathedral until then. Construction continued until 1506. The clergy of the parish offered half their stipends to pay for architects, artists, stained glass artisans, masons, carvers, craftsman and labourers and other expenses. Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the crossing lantern, or cimborrio, collapsed and work on the cathedral recommenced. The crossing again collapsed in 1888 due an earthquake, and work on the dome continued until at least 1903.

Architecture

The interior has the longest nave of any cathedral in Spain. The central nave rises to a height of 42 metres. In the main body of the cathedral, the most noticeable features are the great boxlike choir loft, which fills the central portion of the nave, and the vast Gothic retablo of carved scenes from the life of Christ. This altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart.

The Capilla Mayor (Great Chapel), dominated by a vast Gothic retablo (altarpiece) comprised of 45 carved scenes from the life of Christ, as well as Santa Maria de la Sede, the cathedral's patron saint. The lifetime's work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart, this is the ultimate masterpiece of the cathedral - the largest and richest altarpiece in the world and one of the finest examples of Gothic woodcarving anywhere.

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. Its height is 105 m. The Giralda is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule, and was built to resemble the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. It was converted into a bell tower for the cathedral after the Reconquista, although the topmost section dates from the Renaissance.

The tomb of Christopher Columbus is one of the main attractions of the cathedral for visitors, housing the remains of the great explorer who died in poverty in Valladolid. The tomb itself is more recent, from the 1892, with four bearers presenting the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarra.