The castle of Gresti or Pietratagliata is located near the village of Aidone. Its current condition is that of ruin even if well legible in the forms that are composed mainly of a mighty tower full and a series of rooms ingrottate. The first historical news documented dating back to the 14th century. The castle stands on a high rocky ridge of sandstone. The central part, the spur higher, has been used by man for its strategic position as a control station and defense. In fact the castle constitutes an outpost or a fortress of sighting for the control of a vast territory, connoted by important streets of communications which from the eastern coast is addentravano toward the center of Sicily dominated by settlements which Morgantina, Enna, Agira.
The structure extends over four levels: on the first level, which is also the oldest to be found in the rural houses and a large cave which opens with a loggia south and with a window and loggia and north. At the second level from which also begins the tower full and part the scale dug in the rock, there are two local: an input and a room with window delimited by benches in masonry. At the third level, the second floor where you find the environments 'noble' representation, there are four rooms dug in the rock and other in masonry. The fourth level is present an environment with entrance portal which would suggest a chapel and a cistern to collect rainwater. A mention deserves the high tower full, firmly anchored to the rock, visible at large distances. Has walls from compact surfaces, underlined by sharp built in blocks of stone perfectly squared; access to the terrace of the tower was allowed by a beautiful spiral staircase, with steps of basalt, placed in the corner of the south-east.
For the structure and for some particular aspects, the castle may not have had the function of an aristocratic residence, but was certainly a fortress of sighting within the valley of Gornalunga that, from the earliest times, has made a connection between the Ionic coast and the interior. The presence of numerous castles like (some today recognizable only by the toponymy) suggests plausible to assume that the castle had inserted inside a network of optical signals, defined anciently fani or fires, which allowed to rapidly transmit a signal even at a great distance.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.