Dolceacqua Castle

Dolceacqua, Italy

The Doria Castle is situated in a dominant position overlooking the Dolceacqua village. The first mention of the castle and the village, called at the time Dulzana, dates back to 1177 in an ancient document in which abuts the property of the counts of Ventimiglia. Will be in 1270, almost a hundred years later, the feud and its manor house will be purchased by Oberto Doria - the latter founder of the famous dynasty that will dominate Genoa and its Republic - which will expand its territories in the Nervia Valley up to the villages of Apricale, Perinaldo and Isolabona.

The castle will be in the 14th century in the center of fights between the factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and the Doria family, exponent ghibellina, will therefore have to undergo two heavy sieges in 1319 and in 1329; the sieges were ordered by King Robert of Anjou, Count of Provence and the Guelfa, who succeeded in his aim of conquest forcing the Doria to submit to his will. The lords of the family will become therefore the vassals of the latter and afterwards of the Republic of Genoa. In 1744 the castle was once again the scene of clashes and furious battles because of its strategic position deemed important for the possible obstacle that could create to the French army and Spanish. The two armies, Allies, succeeded after violent struggles to conquer the fortress on 27 July 1745.

Originally the structure was composed in the 12th century by a circular tower - still existing at the center of the complex - and by a smaller building where he lived the office of guard. The castle was enlarged in the 16th century by the then lord local Stefano Doria, to which he added to the previous structure a bastion rammed in the eastern sector and the two square towers are identical. Today the structure appears as divided into two blocks, the front part was in fact intended to control and safety of the village as well as local service, prisons and warehouses; the rear, connected with the front body through a large courtyard, was instead where they were located the environments of the representation and reception of guests and where did the local lords.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anne Knowles (3 months ago)
A wonderful medieval castle with lots of history that you can read as you go as it has plaques on the walls with information. You can go down to the dungeons or up to the top.
Vasily Kupreev (4 months ago)
We didn't get to the castle, but we had lovely walk. I haven't seen so tall medieval villages before. Very charming streets full of picturesque views.
Stuart Hitchcock (5 months ago)
Beautiful location I live here
David Florin - Cosmin (7 months ago)
I was really impressed by the old town. Yes, one location that I really recommend to visit.
Eric Berberich (12 months ago)
Worth to walk up and enjoy the view
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".