Castel del Monte, a splendid example of medieval architecture, stands on an altitude of the Murge, from which you can enjoy a wide view. Built in the 13th century by Emperor Federico II of Puglia, it has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1996.
Castel del Monte History
Castel del Monte was built by Frederick II of Swabia in the thirteenth century. Built on a rocky bank, outcropping in many places, it is universally known for its octagonal plan and for its brilliant example of medieval architecture, so much so as to be included in 1996 in the World Heritage List with another 49 Italian sites.
Castel del Monte became the permanent seat of the court of Frederick II, who became just three years the emperor of the Kingdom of Sicily. The attribution to a specific architect is uncertain, but many argue that Federico II was the one who designed the building. Starting from the seventeenth century it experienced a long period of abandonment during which the castle also suffered the removal of the furnishings and wall decorations of marble, until, in 1876, it was purchased by the Italian State, which predisposed the recovery from since 1879. After several works of recovery, the building was declared a national monument in 1936.
The sides of the castle are eight, eight halls of the ground and first floor and eight are the majestic towers, also with an octagonal plan, arranged on the corners of the structure. It is also believed that in the inner courtyard there was also an octagonal basin.
The interior space is divided into two floors and the sixteen rooms have a trapezoidal shape. Some of the towers have spiral staircases inside them to connect the two floors, others accommodate tanks for rainwater collection, while others host the bathrooms with their respective changing rooms.
The internal courtyard is characterized, as well as the whole structure, by a chromatic contrast between limestone, marble and coral breccia, with three entrances at the bottom and three windows at the top. Below it there is a large cistern with water conveyed from the towers.
A masterpiece of inestimable value in Italian history for its fusion of classical, northern European and Islamic cultural elements, Castel del Monte is chosen as an image for the 1 cent euro coin minted in Italy, as well as for various stamps and symbols, such as for example in the flag of the Puglia Region.