Lagopesole Castle

Avigliano, Italy

At the top of Lagopesole is located a castle, attributed to Frederick II that was probably built between 1242 and 1250. A distinguishing feature of this castle from all the others attributed to Frederick II is the presence within it of a real church (not a simple chapel) in an austere Romanesque style.

Pope Innocent II and Abbot Rinaldo of Montecassino met there, in the presence of Emperor Lothair II of Saxony during the war against Roger the Norman. In 1268 and 1294, Charles I of Anjou stayed at the castle. In 1416, both this fortress and the Melfi castle were acquired by the Caracciolo family. In 1531, Emperor Charles V donated it to the Doria family.

In the nineteenth century, the castle was the refuge of bandits, led by Carmine 'Donatelli' Crocco, who during April 7, 1861, occupied it with another 400 brigands.

The main courtyard is part of the enlargement work commissioned by Frederick II (1242) on the remains of previous Norman and Angevin buildings, and it includes also a wide tank and a big chapel. The chapel, built in the Romanesque style, distinguishes this splendid manor house from the other buildings attributed to Frederick II, being the only example of a place of worship as compared to the other castles dating back to the imperial period.

Even after the renovation works performed in the nineties, today the Lagopesole Castle still preserves the changes commissioned by Charles I, known also as Charles of Anjou. Used as a shelter by the Italian brigands led by Carmine Crocco in the nineteenth century, today the castle is an ideal location to host prestigious cultural events. A must-see attraction is the castle’s museum, where you can take a journey into the life of the Roman Emperor thanks to the multimedia “World of Frederick II” visitor experience and a multimedia show.

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Founded: c. 1242-1250
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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