Savignone Castle

Savignone, Italy

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:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: c. 1207
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marina Chiricenco (12 months ago)
Facile da raggiungere e poi c'è una bellissima vista sul paesino e montania...il castello prende il suo racconto dal 18esimo secolo e poi era una abitazione di una famigliola famosa in quei tempi e anche oggi....
Matteo Ceruti (2 years ago)
Questo castello è Bellissimo interessante affascinante però è in rovina, panorama e sentiero bellissimo, ottime camminate da queste parti. Consigliatissimo a tutti i turisti, non c è molto parcheggio però c è un piccolo spazio dove riposare. Qui c è il fantasma della leggenda quasi si ripete con una storia molto in cui lei ha il nome di Isabella Fieschi e il marito Luchino Visconti. Anche qui c'è il tradimento con la vendetta del marito e il biscione.
Francesca Bottaro (2 years ago)
Bella passeggiata, poco impegnativa. Non c'è molto parcheggio e la segnaletica non è chiarissima. Arrivati al castello c'è un piccolo spiazzo dove riposare. Il sentiero continua verso altre mete che non conosco. Sì impiegano circa 15/20 minuti ad arrivare al castello.
Guido Billybi (2 years ago)
Il castello di Savignone, attualmente in rovina, fu un tempo fortezza e residenza padronale nonché oggetto di battaglie ed assedi. È anche un luogo di leggende. Si trova incastrato su un roccione di puddinga che sovrasta da un'altezza di 150 metri il comune di Savignone. È stato recentemente messo in sicurezza dal comune di Savignone, ma è normalmente chiuso al pubblico. Il castello, essendo costruito sulla cresta di roccia, è particolarmente impressionante, circondato sui lati da pareti di roccia strapiombanti nella valle. Si raggiunge a piedi in pochi minuti da Savignone, percorrendo un sentiero abbastanza ripido. La visita dall'esterno, molto interessante, va fatta con una certa attenzione, ma ne vale la pena.
donstella papalini (2 years ago)
Panorama e sentiero bellissimo..
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.