Agriturismo Masseria Selvaggi come Contattarci

Castel del Monte, il castello di Federico II - patrimonio UNESCO

Near Andria, alone on a hill in the Apulian Murgi a, 540 metres above sea level, stands Castel del Monte, the most famous monument from the times of the Swabian Emperor Frederick II. It was built in the first half of the XIII century. The criteria applied in its volume and design perfectly synthesize the Emperor's artistic heritage, which embraced various styles and cultures. The structure recalls the Classical, yet anticipates the Humanist, and at the same time, Romanesque and Gothic effects can be seen. The principal influences, however, are those of the Arab and Cistercian cultures, both dear to the Emperor.

The Castle was built on an unusual octagonal plan, with eight equally octogonal towers marking the vertices of a polygon. There is no moat, or defence works of any other kind. In fact, the castle was not built for defence purposes, but as the Emperor's monument to himself; to his temporal power. So it rises up, a majestic lay-cathedral, a symbol of his wordly aspirations.

Castel del Monte weaves its own particular magic spell, each architectural element following precise algebraic and astronomical laws. It is almost as if it had been designed as a gigantic medieval space observatory! The Castle has now been completely restored and all of it is open to the public. The imposing portal in corallite stone, recalling the triumphal arches of Roman times, leads into the first room which, like all the other rooms in the Castle, is trapezoidal and surmounted by a crossed vault.

A second room opens out onto an octogonal courtyard with three finely decorated doorways, while a steep, winding staircase leads to the upper storey. The ribs of the stairway roof rest on cornices sculpted with expressive anthropomorphic figures, a rare example of XIII century sculpture. In the upper rooms, all the same shape and size, the coloured marble columns, the doorways and window openings, decorated with corallite stone, the fireplaces and keystones, also carved with anthropomorphic figures, are all admirable in their workmanship.

© 2009 Agriturismo Masseria Selvaggi - P.Iva 00401990742