Padenghe Castle is situated on a hill from where it enjoys a beautiful panorama, has retained its original structure built between the 9th and 10th century on the ruins of fortifications of Roman times. What we can now admire is a reconstruction of the 13th and the 14th century. At the time, the castle was surrounded by a moat, and in it there were houses on three parallel rows, built with the walls. In 1154 it was recognized among the goods granted by Emperor Federico Barbarossa to the bishop of Verona Teobaldo and until 1328 was among those often contended between Brescia and Verona, when it became Scaliger; Later, however, they contested the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice but remained in the hands of the Serenissima from 1520 to 1796. Subsequently, the original ditch was built in defense of the castle, while in the 1960s it was completely restored. Not far away is the medieval church of Sant’Emiliano.

The castle has preserved its original structure. With solid walls made of large stones, there are three towers (the middle one has collapsed) on the north-western side. The plain square main tower rises above the entrance, which still has visible traces of openings for the drawbridge and a footbridge. The chatelaine and troops lived in the castellino ('little castle'), which was built at a later date within the castle walls.

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

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The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.

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