Castel Sant'Angelo

Licata, Italy

Castel Sant'Angelo, also known as Forte Sant'Angelo, is in good condition and is open to the public. It is located on the top of Monte Sant'Angelo, overlooking the city to the north and its harbour to the south. Several archaeological sites, including remains of a Hellenistic settlement, can be found in the area.

The first fortification to be built on Monte Sant'Angelo was a watchtower, which was constructed between 1583 and 1585 on the orders of Viceroy Marcantonio Colonna. The tower was designed by the military engineer Camillo Camilliani.

In 1615, Hernando Petigno, the general commander of the Royal Cavalry of Sicily and Military Governor of Syracuse, began building a fort on the site, incorporating the tower as the fort's keep. Construction was halted, but it was resumed in 1636 and completed in 1640 under the direction of Serpione Cottone, Marquis d'Altamura.

The fort never fired its guns in anger, and was decommissioned in the 19th century. It was a telegraph station between 1849 and 1856. In the early 20th century, it became a lighthouse. It was severely damaged during the Allied invasion of Sicily on 10 July 1943, when it was bombarded by USS Brooklyn and USS Buck. The damaged parts of the fort were later repaired.

The lighthouse in Castel Sant'Angelo closed in 1965, and the fort was abandoned. Today, the fort is in good condition and is open to the public.

The fort has a triangular shape, with the 16th century tower serving as its keep. The fort is built in the Baroque style, and it includes a central courtyard, barracks, stables and warehouses. Access to the fort was only allowed through a drawbridge over a moat. The fort also contained a chapel, but this no longer exists.


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Via Semaforo, Licata, Italy
See all sites in Licata


Founded: 1583-1640
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marcel van Leeuwen (6 months ago)
Castle overlooking Licata, worth the walk to top of hill.
Silvana Arena (2 years ago)
A must visit. Views to die for
Terry Murphy (2 years ago)
Small castle overlooking Licata. Great views, long way up if walking. Make sure you check whether it's going to be open before you climb the hill
Joe Saliba (2 years ago)
A wonderful view of Licata.
Kimberly Hoover (2 years ago)
This was definitely worth a visit. It was very interesting.
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Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

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