Bellaguardia and della Villa Castles

Montecchio Maggiore, Italy

The castles of Bellaguardia and della Villa look at each other on Montecchio Maggiore hill. They are also known as Romeo and Juliet's castles, the two unlucky passionate lovers whose legend was narrated by the count Luigi Da Porto. He was from Vicenza, vicar in Arzignano, town fortifications strategist, poet and author of the novel earlier known as La Giulietta which was reprised in the early 16th century by authors of different nationalities to become at last William Shakespeare's famous masterpiece.

Although the hill fortification has older origins, the first news on the two castles' origin dates back to 14th century: they are mentioned in the peace treaty stipulated by Mastino II della Scala in 1339 at the end of the Venetian-Scaliger war.

The current castles had been built by Cangrande II., Lord of Verona, since 1354. They were destroyed by bombards by Bartolomeo d'Aviano during the War of the League of Cambrai in 1514.

Purchased in 1742 by the the municipality of Montecchio Maggiore, after various restoration works and environmental improvement, the two castles are nowadays used for recreational activities. Juliet castle is used as a restaurant with a spectacular roof terrace, whereas Romeo castle is used for performances and cultural activities.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Maria Vinogradova (3 years ago)
Очень красиво и интересная история замков
Raj (3 years ago)
Il castello di trova proprio nel angolo della collina, perciò offre un ottima visuale quando il tempo è limpido, ci si riesce a vedere abbastanza in lontano.
Alberto Bidut (3 years ago)
Attualmente in restauro esterno. L'ambientazione allo stereotipo di Romeo e Giulietta é suggestiva. Luogo romantico, ma ancora da valorizzare. Un teatro estivo all'aperto con bar nel castello di Romeo. Un ristorante attrezzato ai matrimoni in quello di Giulietta.
Ernesto Tramontini Jr (3 years ago)
È um castelo que fica em Montechio Maiore acessivel por carro e dista 2.8 km do centro em uma estrada sinuosa de subida de onde se avista a cidade a seus pes. O castelo esta aberto para visitas mas nao conta com um rrstaurante. E uma estrutura com grandes muralhas de pedra e uma torre lateral. Teria inspirado o romance Romeo e Julieta. Em frente a 500 metros esta o outro castelo que tambem esta relacionado ao romance.
aldo catalano (4 years ago)
Salve sono aldo Con mia moglie siamo stati a trovare nostro figlio che abita a Verona . Abbiamo visitato l'arena il centro di Verona i vari negozi e la casa di Romeo e Giulietta. Devo dire bellissimo. Ma siamo stati ha vedere anche i due castelli di Romeo e Giulietta e un vero spettacolo. Lo consiglio ciao a tutti.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".