Oramala Castle was built in the 11th century by the Malaspina ancestors and remained in family ownership, albeit with various interruptions, for many centuries. Around 1200, in its greatest splendor, it was a prestigious cultural center housing Provençal troubadours.

The castle was refortified in 1474 against the firearms. Malaspina family owned it until the 18th century, but after that it started to decay. The restoration began in 1985.

However, thanks to the restoration, today Oramala shines again. Its position, its  appearance of a fortified candy box, the many cultural events it hosts, make it a lovely destination in summer. Today it is managed by the association Spinofiorito that, between May and October, organizes guided tours and events focussing on the study and recovery of the medieval culture in the territories of the Malaspina.

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Founded: c. 1029
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Alberto Sorrentino (2 years ago)
Il più storico della valle Staffora, dove è iniziato il casato dei Malaspina. Aperto, non sempre, la domenica per visitare poche vestigia. Panorama fantastico dal torrione. Bellissime passeggiate nei boschi attorno. Per mangiare andare a Varzi
Giuseppe Giacalone (2 years ago)
Che peccato non sia fruibile, sarebbe di certo una bella risorsa ed una risposta per contribuire al nostro patrimonio culturale
Pasquale Binetti (2 years ago)
Non capisco perché un castello così ricco di storia deve restare chiuso ai visitatori!
Freddy Rovelli (2 years ago)
Bellissimo castello, purtroppo non visitabile, chiuso, ma comunque una bellissima roccaforte, consiglio una visita all'esterno, sopratutto per il paesaggio tutt'intorno, vale la pena farci un capatina!
giuseppe quattrocchi (3 years ago)
Un piccolo castello e una grande scoperta, visitato per caso in un giorno d'apertura un guida ci ha catapultato nelle dinamiche di storie, economie, amori, guerre del passato. Abbandonato per decenni è stato poi restaurato. Non conoscevo questo castello ma ha confermato la mia convinzione che in Italia esistono luoghi fantastici troppo spesso per nulla valorizzati. Se potete visitatelo ne vale la pena.
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Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.