Segonzano Castle

Segonzano, Italy

The Castle of Segonzano was built in the 13th century on a rock spur, around 100 meters above the valley. The place where it's placed was probably the site of a prehistoric hillfort. Built by Rodolfo Scancio, on the authority of the Prince-Bishop of Trento, Federico Vanga, the castle served as an important fortified site guarding the trade route passing through the Adige Valley and across the Cantilaga bridge on the river Avisio.

The fortress became hugely important between the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 14th century it was owned by the Scancio, Rottenburg and Greifenstein families and then passed, in 1424, to the Dukes of Tyrol.

When German painter Albrecht Dürer passed here on his first journey to Venice in 1494, he was so impressed by the gloomy walls of the fortress, that he dedicated two celebrated watercolours to it. In 1971, Durer's historic visit to the site was commemorated by two porphyry pillars, at Faver and Piazzo di Segonzano, marking the locations from which he was inspired to paint the two views.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

stefania bonetti (4 months ago)
There is not much left of the castle. To get there, despite a paved road you pass by, it is better to go on foot because there is no possibility to park nearby. The ruin, located on a rock, can be bypassed via a path that allows you to access, in a few minutes, a couple of panoramic points of the surrounding vineyards, the stream and the small and characteristic village of Piazzo not far away. A walk in the area is recommended with a detour to see the Roman bridge, the cantilaga bridge, the cliff with the Tibetan bridge over the Avisio, the ancient church on the nearby hill and if the weather permits a climb up to the pyramids of Segonzano.
Enrique Antonio Cuculiza González (4 months ago)
A wonderful view from the castle ruins, it is worth getting there, the climb up the stairs (right side of the castle) is much more comfortable and easy, the ramp on the left side is very steep, it is good for the descent.
Gabriella G. (5 months ago)
It's a ruin ... well kept but still a ruin. The view over the Cembra valley and the Avisio stream is beautiful. You have to park in the village and walk down as there is no parking near the castle
Massimiliano Panazzolo (6 months ago)
Worth a visit! It can be reached through small streets in the middle of the vineyards where Muller Thurgau and Traminer are produced.
Monika Bláhová (6 months ago)
The castle is definitely worth seeing. Nice views of the valley of the river Avisio full of vineyards.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.