Castello del Catajo is a patrician house near the town of Battaglia Terme. It had its origins in a simple villa that was rebuilt and extravagantly enlarged in the manner of a feudal castle from 1570 onwards by Marquess Pio Enea I degli Obizzi, a member of an Italian noble family of French origin. The house contains a vast cycle of historical battle scenes frescoed in 1571–1572 by Giambattista Zelotti, a pupil of Paolo Veronese. He began with events from the Roman age, culminating with the military triumphs of Pio Enea degli Obizzi, which were recreated in the gardens with tourneys and spectacles. His nephew Pio Enea II enlarged the complex with the grand entrance courtyard, announced by sculptures on high drum pedestals, which is dominated by the Baroque 'Elephant' fountain.

In the 19th century the estate passed to Francis V, Duke of Modena, who in turn left it to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. During the First World War the castle was inherited by Charles I of Austria, the last Emperor of Austria-Hungary, but it was sequestered as war reparations by the Italian State, which sold it in 1926 to the Dalla Francesca family, who currently open it to the public.

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Founded: 1570-1573
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Carrie Matthews (3 years ago)
Amazing place to visit. The guide is bilingual, but speaks only Italian during the tour.
chierel elba (3 years ago)
I love the place it's my first time to visit the casstle
Claudio Amidei (3 years ago)
This is a magnificent Venetian Villa, disguised as a castle, which has recently restored it's original beauty, after years of scarse maintenance! This is one of the most important examples of self-celebritive art in the northern part of Italy, with a cycle of 40 frescoes painted by Zelotti, a colleague of Veronese, a very famous Italian painter of the 16th century! In these frescoes is told the history of the Obizzi family. They were an ancient family of mercenaries that enriched themselves and became increasingly more powerful and wanted to display a "curriculum" of their great war achievements. The castle was built in different periods of time, but it preserved it's same style, making it harmonious!
Patrick Retzer (3 years ago)
Awesome art in this preserved Castle. Well worth it and for English speakers they had written guides to describe the areas. We didn't call ahead to find out when the English tours were. A guided tour is required for access.
Claudio Duranti (3 years ago)
Wonderful. History and Paduan/Venetian majesty at its top. Renovated. Guided tour is a must, but wasn't in English, so if you plan to go there, book an English guided tour in advance.
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From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

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