The Crotone castle, commonly called the Castle of Charles V, was created on the ancient Greek settlement. The spurred bulk of the manor is a unique kind when we speak about medieval and Renaissance fortresses because it highlights the historical development of military architecture from the pouncing defence (towers) to the grazing defence (ramparts). It is also the only example of a castle perched not on the top of a hill, but around a hill that it embraces and contains.
With the conquest by the Normans, the fort became one of the 75 castles that at the time existed in the lands registry of Roger II’s vassals. It was accessed through the current Piazza Castello, thanks to a partly fixed stone bridge and partly wooden drawbridge. The main door was inserted into a truncated pyramidal terrace overlooking the courtyards between the two entry towers, the bridge and the moat.
Thanks to the strategic location of the city, with the arrival of Frederick II the castle was restored, along with the city port. The housing of the defensive structure was entrusted to Giordano Ruffo di Calabria’s nephew, who took care of his stables.
Even the Angevins were careful to maintain it to the point that, between 1270 and 1271, ordered the various landowners to provide for the cost of repair of the castle towers. Something similar happened about 200 years later when Alfonso of Aragon let the city use the arrear taxes for the restoration of the castle walls. Historical stratifications In 500 the old building was subject to major repair works, which lasted about a century and they modified its look: two of the ancient towers were incorporated in cylindrical great towers and the pentagonal plant was cut into a square. Numerous military engineers followed at the works management, which also used the ruins of the ancient Greek city.
With the improvement of war weapons, the castle lost its strategic-military importance and during the nineteenth century it was partially dismantled at the top also as a result of damage caused by frequent earthquakes. Today it houses a Civic Museum of archaeological interest. The Commander and the Adjutant Currently, the castle has a polygonal plant, and two towers: a more massive one called “Tower of the Adjutant”, and another called “Tower of the Commander.” The first was used as a residence of the officers, while the second was a great place of observation: armed with four cannons, it stood inside the castle, in the higher central part.
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.