The Lombardian city of Bergamo is composed of two parts, Città Alta (Upper Town), built up on the hills, and the Città Bassa (Lower Town), which is a lively financial, industrial and administrative centre of national importance.
A milestone in the history of Bergamo was its incorporation into the Venetian State in 1428, which lasted for over three centuries and a half. The two parts of city are separated, both physically and symbolically, by the powerful Venetian Walls, which were built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice in the second half of the 16th century to defend the city, which was the farthermost centre on the Mainland, close to the border with Milan's territory.
The walls never underwent any siege. That is why they remained almost intact to the present day. The system consist of 14 bastions, 2 platforms, 100 embrasures for cannons, 2 armouries, four gates, not to mention the underground structures featuring sallies, passages and tunnels.
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.