Arena Castle

Arena, Italy

The castle of Arena was built by the Norman king Roger I the 11th century, to protect the pass of Berra and to defend the dominions on the Tyrrhenian side of the greenhouses against the risk of potential attacks from the eastern side, where Byzantines and Arabs had important positions.

The administrative and military control of the feud of Arena was entrusted to the Conclubet family, which for over 600 years was confirmed in power by the different dominations that succeeded one another in Calabria ultra, to which the Acquaviva dukes took over in the sixteenth century.

The ruins of the castle, substantially destroyed by the earthquake of 1783, preserve the Norman architectural structure, with large perimeter walls and the main building in the shape of a quadrilateral.

At the corners of the quadrilateral there are four partially preserved towers, belonging to different periods during which the castle underwent various technical – defensive adaptations.

Thus, in the Angevin age, the original quadrangular towers with smooth shoe of the Norman tradition, were replaced on the eastern side by high towers with a circular base and grooved shoe, the latter aimed at increasing the results of the so-called “plumbing defense” technique. increasing the range and lethality of the projectiles launched from the walls. Just the grooved shoe base is a constructive rarity since the typical Angevin tower had a smooth shoe.

On the western side, the Norman towers were modified only in the Aragonese period, when the development of artillery made it necessary to lower and strengthen them.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carmen Corapi (8 months ago)
The Castle is enchanting. To be included among the places to visit absolutely if you come to Calabria. Yes, it can be easily reached by car and there is also a large car park at the entrance to the Castle. Only flaw? The rudeness of some visitors, in some places there was rubbish.
ALMAR (11 months ago)
The first Sunday of April, it seemed like spring and instead, it was raining. But that didn't make me give up and the mercy of the weather made me visit this place. You have to look for the castle with the use of technology, otherwise the only sign that is found with indications is inside the town. I left the car on the road below, and climbed up the hill that leads to the castle, not very long but with a steep slope. Unfortunately the place has minimal maintenance, just mowing the grass, otherwise nothing else. The entrance is from a bridge, perhaps from a later period than the castle, but very suggestive, because it takes you to the entrance gate. Only the walls remain, if not a small room on the right as you enter, from where once you could access the southeast tower, now collapsed. Unfortunately there are no underground accesses, but they once were, as some openings indicate this. The view of the underlying village of Arena is suggestive, as well as of the valley with a view of Soriano and Gerocarne to the north. If there were, a more careful care of the same, well it would be a certain destination for many tourists. I must say that within the walls, many details can be observed, such as the bases of the towers with sharp edges and inside some particular round and quadrangular stones, as well as what must have been a sink. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, not flip flops...
Gianpiero Taverniti (2 years ago)
Important Norman artistic historical testimony of Calabria, to visit.
Silvia Turello (2 years ago)
A Norman castle with a breathtaking view and an archaeological museum in the same courtyard, very well maintained and with a courteous and helpful staff. Not to be missed.
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