Graines Castle

Brusson, Italy

Graines castle occupies the summit of a rocky spur which commands Brusson and most of the Val d'Ayas. In medieval times, it communicated through flag or mirror messages with the nearby Bonot Tower and the Villa Castle in Challand-Saint-Victor.

The fief of Graines is documented since 515, when King Sigismund of Burgundy donated it to the newly formed Abbey of St. Maurice. The castle was perhaps built in the 11th century by its monks, who built the Romanesque chapel which is still visible in the interior.

In 1263 the abbey sold the fief to Godefroi of Challant, a faithful vassal of the House of Savoy, whose family held the castle until the 18th century. The castle was a stronghold of Catherine of Challant in her struggle for the family's inheritance. When the Challant disappeared in the 19th century, the castle was bought by Passerin d'Entrèves family, who later sold it to the commune of Brusson. The castle was restored in the early 20th century by Alfredo d'Andrade and Giuseppe Giacosa.

The castle had the typical layout of Aosta Valley early medieval castles. It had an irregular line of walls measuring c. 80 x 50 m, which housed a series of structures such as the large donjon (square tower) and a small chapel, the only ones remaining now.

The donjon is square in plan, with a side of more than 5.5 m. It was the castle's keep and the residence of the castellan or the lord. The entrance was at some five metres from the ground, and could be accessed only by a ladder which could be removed during sieges. A wing was later added to enlarge the tower.

The Romanesque chapel, dedicated to St. Martin, has a single nave with a length of eight metres, ending in a semicircular apse. The ceiling had crumbled down.

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Details

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

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sara Gobbo (18 months ago)
Una volta parcheggiata l'auto a bordo strada, c'è una camminata in salita da fare, non molto lunga ma discretamente impegnativa. Il panorama è molto bello. Arrivati al castello, ci rendiamo conto che non è rimasto molto, ma anche quel poco basta per farci riflettere; il pensiero va a chi, tanto tempo fa, faceva la ronda su quelle mura.. se siete in zona e avete un'oretta libera, vale senz'altro la pena di visitarlo, .
Roberto Rossi (18 months ago)
Stupendo un ritorno nel passato e una panoramica sulla valle stupenda. Visitarlo ha una sua storia e leggenda.
Thom GC (18 months ago)
Surprisingly well preserved castle with wonderful view - access steep and not convenient for hadicapped people.
Mary S. (4 years ago)
The castle is always open, the tower is not visitable inside. You can easily reach the castle by car and then, in 10 minutes by feet you will be on the top of the castle. Nice place with a nice view of Ayas valley!
Papermanangelo De Marchi (6 years ago)
This place is beautiful, but the ruins of the Castle of Graines is further south and slightly west
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