Castel del Monte – Puglia’s Most Beautiful Fortress
There’s so much to love about Puglia; from the culture and traditions of the locals, to the many breathtaking views of the landscapes. You’re likely to find that there is no shortage of great landmarks in this part of Italy too, but one that you won’t want to overlook is Castel del Monte. Built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century, there’s so much to love about this fantastic site.
The beauty of Castel del Monte
The castle of the Mount, as it’s known in English, is one of greatest castles in the whole of Puglia, but if you’re planning on visiting this region any time soon you’ll probably want to know why this fortress is worth a visit.
The eight corners of Castel del Monte are each supported by an octagonal tower. This gives the site a unique shape that helps it to stand out against the many other castles in Puglia that were built by Frederick II.
The Emperor wanted it to be built near Santa Maria in Monte Castro as a part of his network of defensive castles – although to look at it, you may not realize that this structure was intended for such purposes. Mainly, this is due to the fact that the fortress lacks many elements that are needed for proper defense, such as ditches or a basement.
While the castle may not have been ideal for defense, the interior of the building was truly incredible; with many paintings and other forms of artwork decorating each room. Over the years, items of value inside the castle have sadly been removed by thieves, but there is still the beauty of the structure itself to be enjoyed by those stopping by.
The white marble, limestone, and coral breccias used inside the fortress are a sight worth seeing, as they create a unique chromatic effect that’s sure to blow you away. With or without the masterpieces that could have been found in this castle, it’s still an incredible site – and it is considered one of the greatest tourist destinations in all of Puglia.
On the UNESCO World Heritage list
Since 1996, Castel del Monte has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are many things that make this site worthy of a place, with the excellent medieval architecture being just one of them.
Another aspect that’s important to consider is that the architecture is a blend of Islamic Orient, classic antiquity, and north European Cistercian Gothic – all of which go together beautifully. Even the plumbing system is worth a mention, as it uses rain water to cater to the bathrooms and toilets in the castle.
There’s so much more that makes this an incredible landmark, so when you’re traveling around Puglia, be sure to consider paying a visit.