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Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte



Location: Apulia    Map

Constructed: 13th century

Official site




History of Castel del Monte


Castel del Monte is located in Apulia region of South-east Italy. It is one of the most unusual citadels in Italy. Castel del Monte was constructed in the 1240's on the orders of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and under supervision of the governor of Capitanata. Its unique appearance and octagonal shapes earned Monte Castle a status on World Heritage Site. Some historians suggest that its design was influenced by Muslim mosque, known as Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Frederick II participated in the Sixth Crusade in 1228- 1229 and could have seen this magnificent structure. Despite centuries of use much of the Castel del Monte citadel is in perfect condition. Other than marble that once covered the interior of the fortress courtyard, much of the structure is well preserved. The main wall reaches a height of 25 meters and its eight towers- bastions reach a height of 26 meters. Castel del Monte's diameter is 56 meters in length. The entrance to the Castle del Monte faces east side. Its design was influenced by Greco- Roman architecture that were so popular during Renaissance period. The fortress was not used as a military defensive position. Instead it was used as a state prison during rule of Charles I of Anjou just two decades after its construction. Sons of Manfred of Sicily, Azzo, Enzo and Henry, were kept her as prisoners after 1266. Later it was used as a refuge from a plague and finally the Monte Castle was abandoned. Italian government finished restoration of the castle in 1928 and established it as a museum of military architecture.











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