Savignone Castle has a semi-circular great tower and rear rampart, and its position on a conglomerate spur that presents a cliff of 150 metres on one side is its main natural defence. In the 13th century the Fieschis took possession of Savignone and its castle, which only seemed to be lived in during the summer. The fief was certainly a feather in the cap of this lineage because its position in the Scrivia Valley was excellent for connection between Genoa and the Po area and also for the importance it had acquired in time as a traffic area.
The Fieschis, who had this fief in its power, belonged to the so-called Savignone lineage, one of the two lines that were formed by the two sons of Ugo Fieschi, the founder of the strain. Some other people, who were important not just for Fieschi’s history but also for Genoa and Italy, can also be counted among them. In 1332 Raffaello Fieschi was in contact with Robert of Anjou, from which he obtained some galleys. He took on the role of ambassador several times and seems to have been the person who poisoned Boccanegra.
The 14th century saw the castle pass to different owners among which Andronico Botta and Antoniotto Adorno until the arrival of Obietto Fieschi, who re-acquired it and then lost it again, together with Torriglia. They are complicated years for the relationships in the lineage, in constant conflict with the Sforzas who longed for the property until they managed to obtain Savignone and Montoggio, the main estates. It was Gian Luigi Fieschi the great who ousted the Milanese from the valley, giving such continuity to his dominion that it passed into history with the name of the “Fieschi state”.
The story from now onwards interweaves with the ambitions of the members of the Fieschi family as to Genoa, events that end with the famous conspiracy of 1547 and the resulting siege of Montoggio which, even though not having the same consequences for the Savignone line as for all the other family members, just the same caused its general decline or at least exclusion from the role of characters in the history of Genoa and the Scrivia Valley as it had been during the previous two centuries.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.