The Venosa Castle is a historic fortified building located in the homonymous town in the province of Potenza. Commonly referred to as the Aragonese Castle because it was built by Duke Pirro del Balzo during the Aragonese dynasty period, it is situated at the southern end of the plateau occupied by the urban area of the city.
Its construction dates back to 1470, commissioned by Duke Pirro del Balzo as part of a broader fortification project. It is an imposing structure, with a square plan featuring four cylindrical towers. The Del Balzo coat of arms, a radiant sun, is visible on the western tower. The construction of the castle and the excavation of the moat, in accordance with the new principles of fortification, led to the demolition of the Romanesque cathedral and the surrounding district. Therefore, a new cathedral was built in an expansion of the settlement on the lower part of the plateau where the city stands.
It was transformed from a fortress into a noble residence by Carlo and Emanuele Gesualdo, with the addition of the inner loggia, the northwest wing, and the outworks at the base of the towers. From 1612, it hosted the Academy of the Renaissance.
The four cylindrical towers at the corners, initially crowned with battlements and probably conical roofs, are supported by outworks that constitute the scarp of the moat, used as prisons. The entire building, accessed via a drawbridge, is surrounded by a deep moat. Inside, there is a large courtyard surrounded by a Renaissance loggia. In front of the castle, there is a porticoed square and a monumental fountain granted to Venosa by Charles I of Anjou.
Within its walls, in the rooms located in the basements of the towers, the castle houses the National Museum of Venosa, which primarily preserves the rich evidence of the Roman colony of Venusia.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.