Dragonara Castle

Torremaggiore, Italy

Dragonara Castle is named after Drogo of Hauteville (c. 1010 – 10 August 1051), the second Count of Apulia and Calabria. The castle was razed in 1255 by the army of Pope Alexander IV. It was later rebuilt as a fortified farm.


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


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User Reviews

Antonio Lombardi (9 months ago)
Place of considerable historical importance. In the 11th century one of the Byzantine castrums to garrison and defend the borders of the Capitanata, the then Theme of Longobardia, right from the neighboring possessions of the Longobard duchy of Benevento. It was of considerable importance even beyond the Byzantine domination, so much so that it even had its own bishopric. Its period of prosperity lasted with the reign of Frederick II of Swabia (during the XIII century) who restructured various already existing castrums and continued his work of encastellation in order to control and repopulate the territory. However, this golden age did not last long because, after Federico's death, the castle and its urban nucleus were besieged and destroyed by the papal troops of Alexander IV in war against Manfredi, son of Federico II. This destruction caused its abandonment by the inhabitants of Dragonara who, moving, founded today's Torremaggiore. It was only from the 14th and 18th centuries that some alterations carried out mainly by the Di Sangro family transformed the castle into a fortified farmhouse. To date it remains abandoned but being on private land, you need to ask the owner's permission before visiting the building
antonella marrone (9 months ago)
Castel Dragonara or Castello di Dragonara is the ancient testimony of the fortified village of Dragonara in the Fortore Valley. This ancient manor house represents the last testimony of the Byzantine-Norman-Swabian fortress destroyed in 1255 by the papal troops engaged in the war against Manfredi, son of Federico II, an emperor very close to the Capitanata. Currently it is not possible to visit it, it is on private property and in a state of decay. The road is impassable and a barrier separates the castle from visitors. The manor is used as a shed...?‍♀️
Alberto Gentile (5 years ago)
Remains of Dragonara Castle Period: 11th century. Currently the castle is used for agricultural use. Background. Dragonara has a common origin with other "frontier cities" wanted, at the dawn of the XI century, by the Byzantine emperors: these tried to consolidate their possessions in southern Italy threatened by the Longobards in the north and by the Saracens in the south. To implement this plan, the Catapani sent from Byzantium undertake a new "incastellamento" of the Daunia, in order to move the unsafe borders of the Theme of Longobardia (administrative subdivision of the time), marked by the Ofanto river, towards the more defensible ones delimited by the course of the Fortore. Thus, between 1018 and 1040, thanks to the building activity of the Catapani Basilio Bojohannes and his son of the same name, numerous city-fortresses were born with the task of providing the new frontier with effective bulwarks against incursions and raids, repopulating the Tavoliere. Among these newly formed centres, in addition to Dragonara, we mention Fiorentino, Civitate, Troia, Montecorvino, Tertiveri and Devia. Due to its strategic importance, the works built later by the Normans and the Swabians and the Aragonese were added to the initial Byzantine factory, which also included two concentric walls of rammed earth. Some documents attest that Dragonara was also an episcopal see; its bishops carried out important tasks and its diocese was inherited by the Diocese of San Severo in 1580. Many centers depended on its bishops; among these we also remember the abbey of Santa Maria di Tremiti. Dragonara in 1255 suffered the same fate as Fiorentino remaining razed to the ground by the troops of Pope Alexander IV. Chronology Dragonara was a bulwark of the Byzantines in the 11th century, then in the 12th century it passed to the Normans, in the 13th century to the Swabians, then to the Angevins and the Aragonese, following on from the De Sangro family. The castle Of the ancient city of Dragonara, only the castle remains, in hewn and sketchy stones, which stands on the first slopes of the Daunian sub-Apennines. Currently the castle, after countless alterations, has a rectangular shape, with an internal courtyard, 2 cylindrical and two square towers; another cylindrical tower, isolated, is placed at a certain distance from it. This tower, empty inside, seems to have had no entrance door, except for the one used in recent times to use it as a stable. Perhaps escalators were used to access its interior or, according to some, an underground passage connecting the castle and the tower.
Antonio Picucci (6 years ago)
Francesco Panniello (7 years ago)
It could be the most evocative place in the entire province but it is not clear who owns the management, the fact is that this place is unfortunately almost completely abandoned, unfortunately this thing often concerns the monuments in the province of Foggia, a really sad note
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