Ceglie Messapica Castle

Ceglie Messapica, Italy

The Castello Ducale in Ceglie Messapica dates from Norman times and has been rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries. Together with the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, it dominates the historic city center.

Between the 12th and 13th centuries, under Hohenstaufen and Angioin rule, the first extensions of the castle were carried out with the construction of further fortifications, including the three round towers. In 1484 the castle fell to the Sanseverino family following a marriage. The Sanseverinos are certainly the family that has most influenced the history of the castle and the city. Indeed, it was they who gave the castle a more stately appearance. In the 15th century they promoted the construction of the square tower and the feudal mistress Aurelia Sanseverino promoted the arrival of some monastic orders in the city.

In the first half of the 20th century, the castle was divided into several parts according to the line of succession. Thus began a phase of decline for some parts of the castle. From the last years of the 20th century, the city administration began to buy up parts of the ducal castle; the last purchase took place in 2014, when the Norman tower, the square tower and their neighboring buildings passed into municipal ownership. In the first years of the 21st century, the city administration began with numerous conservation interventions with the restoration of parts of the ducal castle. About half of the castle is currently in public hands, even if only two wings can be visited. The original core in the middle of the castle, which consists of the Norman tower and the square tower, as well as the adjacent buildings, is not open to the public as it has not yet been completely restored. The same applies to the part that remained in the private ownership of a branch of the Verusio family and is the best preserved part of the castle, in which even the original furnishings have been preserved, as well as the adjoining ducal garden, which is also privately owned.

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Founded: 1070-1100
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Chris Wright (12 months ago)
As a castle not much to see. As a museum of ceramics very interesting.
Sven Ahrens (2 years ago)
Nothing really to see here in October. The city feels quite dead overall, compared to Cisternino/Ostuni/Locorotondo etc.
Tony Winstanley (2 years ago)
A not to miss itinerary on your visit to Ceglie Messapica.
Andy Wild (5 years ago)
Two fantastic squares
Pat Tod (5 years ago)
Great tour around CEGLIE historical centre, the archaeological museum and the castle with an excellent guide , thank you Gianfranco,!
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