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European castles


Step back into history

The project is intended for schools located in a country where a castle is located. The main idea of this project is to bring our students with castles history to European history in an attractive way. By working on the tasks related to the history of the castle, we will try to show our students that history has many interesting aspects. During this project students will study the history of the castle, which will familiarize them with their historical themes in their region. Studying historical backgrounds of castles will lead students to find connections and shared treasures across Europe and Cultural Heritage.







THE PALACE OF GRAND MASTER OF THE KNIGHTS IN RHODES ,GREECE By the students of B’ Arsakeio Tositseio Junior High School of Ekali Teacher : Athina Garbola

Rhodes is an island in the Aegean Sea, the largest of the Dodecanese Island complex, in Greece . Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The ancient city of Rhodes is divided into two parts: the Old City, or medieval and the New City. The Old City is surrounded by strong walls and is one of the biggest and best preserved Medieval settlements of Europe. It has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site . This fortified medieval city is full of buildings testifying about the past and the history of the island, from the antiquity, the Byzantine times, the middle Ages to Turkish rule.


There are 11 gates to access the old city. Some of them are ancient, some are modern.

Gate d’Amboise

Gate of Saint John Gate of Saint Athanasiou Gate of Saint Paul

Gate d'Amboise

Ε τ αι ρε ία

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a 14th-century castle standing on the site of a 7th-century Byzantine fortress. It is a square building designed around a large courtyard with impressive towers, massive walls, and elaborate decorative elements, and it is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece.

From 1309 to 1522, the Knights of St. John, a Christian military organization, ruled the island of Rhodes. In the early 14th century, they made numerous modifications and converted the Byzantine citadel into an administrative center and the residence of their Grand Master.

After the Ottoman occupation of Rhodos in 1522, the building lost its importance and was mainly used as a prison. Several earthquakes progressively damaged the building until, in 1865, a devastating explosion in the nearby basement of the church of St. John, used as an arsenal by the Ottomans, turned the Palace in a mass of ruins. The first floor collapsed completely, and very little of it survived until 1937, and the beginning of restoration work. It was during the Italian occupation in 1937 that extensive restoration works were carried out. Between 1937 and 1940, the Italian architect Vittorio Mesturino rebuilt it to become a holiday residence for King Victor Emmanuel III, and later for the dictator Benito Mussolini. Since the return of the island in 1948 to the Greeks, the palace is a museum.

The Palace has very imposing dimensions and defensive fortifications.

You enter the palace via the grand twin-turreted gateway that leads to a large inner courtyard. There are statues from the Roman and Hellenistic periods that stand beneath the lower level arcades. There are more than 150 rooms inside the palace, of which 24 are open to visitors. The building is rectangular in plan and divided into three levels. On the first floor visitors can tour the large Hall of the Council, the Knights’ dining hall and the private chambers of the Grand Master.

Many of the rooms feature exhibitions that depict the history of Rhodes, the Knights of St. John and the Dodecanese Islands. There are displays of 16th and 17th century furniture, antique armor, carpets and vases.


The floors are decorated with mosaics of late Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian times, excavated on the island of Kos. One of the most famous is the mosaic of Medusa from the 2nd century BC. Medusa is the Greek mythological monster who had snakes instead of hair.


It includes an interesting collection of 16th and 17th-century Western furniture and an impressive arcade used as a majestic entrance.

Cannons in the bastion on the West side of the Palace

The Chamber of the Nine Muses

Only 24 of the 158 rooms inside the palace are open to visitors.


BRAN CASTLE—ROMANIA By the students of Colegiul National Pedagogic Constantin Bratescu Constanta Teacher : Cristina Gila

The Bran Castle is situated at the entrance to the Rucăr - Bran passage, on the road connecting Braşov to Câmpulung, over towered by the peaks of the Bucegi and the Piatra Craiului Mountains.The castle is a national monument and landmark in Romania.


In 1212, Teutonic Knights built the wooden castle of Dietrichstein as a fortified position in the Burzenland at the entrance to a mountain pass through which traders had travelled for more than a millennium, but in 1242 it was destroyed by the Mongols.

Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.

In 1438-1442,the Castle was used in defense against The Ottoman Empire,and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is believed the Castle was briefly held by Mircea The Elder of Wallachia during whose period the customs point was established.


The Voivode of Transylvania, Iancu of Hunedoara, defeated a division of the Ottoman army in 1441 –1442 right at the walls of Bran Fortress.

Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) was allied with Bran and Brasov during his first reign (1448) and through the start of his next reign, after the Princes of Transylvania requested that he handle the anti-Ottoman resistance at the border. During his second reign (1456 – 1462), however, his army passed through Bran in early 1459 to attack Brasov, in order to settle a conflict between the Wallachia Voivode and the Saxons, who requested higher customs taxes and supported his opponent for the throne.

After 1918, Transylvania became part of Greater Romania. On December 1st 1920, the citizens of Brasov, through a unanimous decision of the city’s council, led by Mayor Karl Schnell, offered the castle to Queen Maria of Romania. The Castle became a favorite residence of Queen Maria, who restored and arranged it to be used as a residence of the royal family. Bran Castle was transformed by the communist authorities into a museum. The museum had three departments: the Castle – which contained pieces of royal heritage; the medieval customs; and Ethnography – that included traditional houses in the park near the castle.


The castle’s restoration works, which had started in 1987, were finished. in 1993.The Castle was reopened as a museum and was reintroduced into the tourist circuit. On June 1, 2009, the Castle fully re-entered the possession of its legal heirs, Archduke Dominic, Archduchess Maria Magdalena and Archduchess Elisabeth.

Bran Castle – a remarkable gothic architectural design monument was built on a 60 m cliff. Builders have somehow managed to combine wood with stone brought from Magura Bran. Castle had a protective effect, but also commercial. In the south were two walls built of stone and brick. At that time the fortress was made from the exterior walls of the fortified tower, the circular tower and the tower gate. Today’s image fourteenth-century tower above except that the gate was built after the 15th century. After Queen Mary took possession of the royal court architect Karel Liman castle restored and decorated the entire building.

Initially defensive fortification included a post consisting of two rows of walls which flanked the south pass , the customs station building and the city itself, consisting of the enclosure wall , donjon, round tower and the tower gate. Enclosure wall is made of limestone, brick layers being built later. This wall has holes arranged vertically rectangular drawing. Dungeon, located in the north, is taller than the rest of the castle and is set in stone. It includes two rooms and a narrow wooden staircase climbs to the roof, where it is provided and an observation post. Dungeon and curtain are provided just below the battlements with a series of gradual, rounded. The gate was originally built with a grid of beams blocked, handled by means of pulleys. Access through this input could be achieved only with a mobile stairs descended to the base rock.

Εταιρεία On the first floor are six rooms: the vestibule, a more spacious hall, with frescoes, a room with ogival vaults ceiling, a small kitchen and a second vestibule. Under the tower stairs is a narrow room served as a prison. Second floor contains a vestibule, a former kitchen, a small room in the tower room corresponding to the gate and a new room with painted beams Saxon reasons. In the courtyard are two cellars, baking oven and another prison.

Inner Courtyard Wishing Well A special attraction of the castle is well, with a depth of about 57 m, located in the backyard

Inner Courtyard Entrance

The castle is now a museum dedicated to displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Maria.


Bran Castle is known as Dracula castle it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The representative of Transylvania legend – that of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, binds and Bran Castle.This we depict him Vlad Tepes – ruler in Wallachia in the fifteenth century – as a kind of vampire that feeds on blood and flesh of enemies.In reality, it was just a ruthless ruler enemies, whom extreme punishment – impalement. It was assumed that the so-called Dracula lived in Bran Castle, but have not found any evidence to prove this. Visitors to Bran Castle should make the distinction between the historic reality of Bran and the character of the Count in Bram Stoker’s novel. Dracula exists in the imagination.

Ε τ αι ρε ία

ST ANDREW CASTLE IN PREVEZA, GREECE By the students of the 4th Gymnasion of Preveza Teachers: Barbara Zadraveli ,

Christina Kakosimou , Aggeliki Evangelou

Preveza is a town in the region of “Epirus” , northwestern Greece. Its strategic location along the Ionian Sea and Amvrakikos Gulf explains why the region was repeatedly conquered and occupied by several different empires and why Preveza has so many castles : The castle of Agios Andreas , the castle of Agios Georgios , the castle of Pantokrator , to mention but a few.


1292: The town was created at the end of the 12th century , after the desolation of Nicopolis. 1499: The Venetian admiral Barthrolomew the Pesaro manufactured the fortified naval station and a big part of settlement, occupying then the city. 1530: The city was delivered to the Turks . 1718: The city was again occupied by the Venetians 1797 : The city was captured by the French , after the depopulation of the Republic of Venice by Napoleon.

1798: The city was recaptured by the Ottomans. 1912:This is the year that Turkish occupation was ended when the liberation by the Greek armies took place.

The entrance of the castle, which no longer exists, was ending up to the water front.

Structural Architectural Fortification

The castle is an elongated quadrilateral fort with four corner bastions and a smaller one in the middle of the west side. It is located almost parallel to the sea at a relatively short distance from it. Despite successive interventions, the surrounding wall of the fort maintains its original position and form almost unaltered. Its external features, including its inclined construction, the well-rounded corner bastion geometry, the improved skylight system and the improved regional projects, such as prefabricated floors and accesses, are immediately visible. The most outstanding feature of the castle is the external inclined wall

The castle is surrounded nowadays by a waterless moat , shaped in the form of the road after landfills


The Castle of Saint Andrew ( Andreas , in Greek) is also called the cas- Εταιρεία tle of Kyparissi or Its Kale- its Ottoman name- or Rizokastron or the castle of Platanos. It is the largest of the six castles that are preserved in the area around the city of Preveza. It is located in the center of the city and follows the three important historical phases that go along the city history .

PREVEZA The City Of Castles

Preveza was firstly fortified by the Turks in the 15th century. In particular, at Buka (today "Paliosaraga") the first and most powerful fortress of the city was constructed. The construction began at the end of the 15th century. In the 17th century, while siege techniques had evolved, it seems that the Turks had improved the defense capabilities of the castle accordingly. Preveza, the castle of Bouka included, was captured by the Venetians of Francesco Morosini in September 1684. The Venetian occupation lasted only 15 years. Although the Venetians immediately after the occupation of Preveza significantly improved the castle of Bouka, they were forced by the Karlovy Vary Treaty in 1699 to hand it over to the Ottomans. But as they did not want the improved castle to remain in the hands of the Ottomans, they set it as a condition of the treaty to surrender it after they destroyed it and without the Turks having the right to fortify again the same place. With the departure of the Venetians in 1701 and the destruction of the Buka castle , the Turks built the St Andrew's Castle, or Ic-Kale (meaning Inner Acropolis), in the north part of the city. In 1718, the Passarovic Treaty again handed over the city to the Venetians, who repaired and improved St. Andrew's Castle.

Εταιρεία Saint Andrew Castle is located in the north side of the city of Preveza

The castle has three construction stages, which are like with three different historical periods of Prevez  First Stage (1702-1708) the city occupation was delivered by the Italians to the Turkish Empire and the fortification from the new conquerors started

Second Stage (1718-1797) second, Italian occupation of the city (1718-1797) and the modifications we made to the castle by the Italians Third stage(1807-1870) with the widest fortifications made by the Ottoman ruler , called Ali Pasa

Castle photo during the Ottoman occupation

Εταιρεία Its two entrances are located one in the north and the other in the east side

Inside the castle Saint Andreas’ Orthodox church was built in 1953 .

The castle housed an Army camp after the city’s liberation . It served as a barracks up to 2005 . Here stands a heroes’ monument built in 1930 , preserved until today .

The castle today



Arena is a town of 1449 inhabitants in the province of Vibo Valentia in Calabria, Italy. The village lies on a hillock, along the bank of the river Petriano.The economy is based on agriculture, livestock breeding, and chestnut and beech wood production.

The origins of the village are very ancient: it was a Greek colony and later Roman to the time of the Punic wars. Around the 11th century Arena, such as the nearby Bivongi and Stilo , saw a conspicuous presence of Basilian monks leading peacefully their daily lives between farm work and the Greek Orthodox rite.

With the arrival of the Normans, Arena became a feudal territory where the families Conclubet and Caraccioli had the main power. The relationship among the citizens was based on the feudal order but, in the XIII century the first social claims started, as for example in 1466 the rebellion against Ferrante D’Aragona and in 1700 that against Girolamo and Fabrizio Caracciolo.


The Arena castle was born for historic, enviromental Εταιρεία and political reasons. It became the economic and cultural center of the entire surrounding area. The castle was built by Roger I, called “ the boxwood”( because of his build), in a place where the wide view allowed to control the access to the Vibonese plateau and Mileto, which was the Gran Count’s headquarters.

The castle became soon the center of power and the organizational unit of the area, starting the process of integration among the people living in the valleys and guiding them towards common interests. Arena became the administrative center of a big feud that in 1805 Roger I gave to Concublet, a family coming from North Europe ( England or Bavaria). It was also the bastion of the expansionist religious interests of the Latin Church and the Normans political achievements in a land of Greek origin : in 1088 Bruno of Cologne in tow of Urban II, came to Calabria to ally with the Normans and starting the process of latinization of the territory.In 1091 Roger I gave Bruno of Cologne and other friars a lonely place to found the monastery of Santa Maria della Torre ( St. Stephen of the wood) and the castle represented the border of the assigned area.

With the Conclublet Arena met economic and social forms never known before: the vineyards and olive groves were increased, livestock herds raised, and following the basilian tradition, fruit trees were planted, mainly citrus fruit.

Roger II was able to create a balance between the Norman Court, the feudal and ecclesiastical power: In Arena the town grew because the inhabitants living in the surroundings moved around the castle. The Jews who gave rise to the Judeca quarter settled away from the castle. In this way, they had the opportunity to celebrate the religious and funeral rites without interfering with the customs and funeral ritual of the inhabitants of the place and at the same time to start a small textile industry, the tannery and the lathe.


Thomas Campanella was one of the most important guest of the castle. The famous Calabrian philosopher believed in the great idea of «renovatio» and in 1599 planned the anti-Spanish uprising right in the castle of Arena. The castle, in fact, was considered a favorable and strategic place to obtain the consensus of those who believed in his revolutionary project of social justice. His project, however, tragically failed.

The castle was destroyed by the violent devastating power of the earthquake of 1783, the same one that destroyed Miletus and “ la Certosa “ of Serra S. Bruno. The imposing and majestic ruins that stand out from the passage of time remain the most useful tool for reconstructing the 1000-year history of the castle.



The castle originally had a drawbridge, two cylindrical towers on the two extremities of the entrance facade and two prismatic towers at the ends of the opposite facade; these two towers unfortunately today are no longer there. Only the ruins remain of the greatness of the Castle of Arena: the stands of the Aragonese-type corner towers, drawn from the remains of the magnificent arches of the medieval Norman aqueduct used to supply water to the castle. The remaining rooms are almost all without covering and have discontinuous and diffuse lesions on the vaults and on the walls. THE TOWERS OF THE CASTLE OF ARENA

At the corners of the quadrilateral there are four towers of different ages; the castle has two Angevin towers on the eastern side, while the other two tops have two square towers of the Aragonese era. After some time the heavy Norman building was lightened, and the main modification affected the towers: the quadrangular towers were replaced by tall, light towers and circular base with slotted shoe. These changes of the original Norman structure were not extended to Western towers.

The materials used were the local stones of the Serre and the lime. Since 1755 the castle was severely damaged and this resulted in injuries of the masonry, partial collapses, sagging and cracking.

Recently, the underground parts of the castle have been found; they had been used like prisons . There are also the remains of he crusher and mills

LA CASTELLANA The reenactment starts at 17:30, when the first performances of medieval origin begin in Piazza Generale Pagano, with enchanting shows. When Guiscardo and the historical parade arrive in the square, they vote La Castellana choosing among twenty girls and then she is crowned. In 2017 Antonella Ferro was crowned Castellana and Roberto Guiscardo symbolically gave her the keys of the Castle. Then, in the evening there were :the medieval dinner, historical music shows, gastronomic booths with medieval menus and performances of bandwagon, musicians, militias, firefighters and jugglers.

As regards the event, the mayor of Arena commented: “It was a fascinating journey through time, between uses, customs and rites that have told the history of Arena and of medieval Calabria ". Antonino Schinella added: “Today‘this initiative has been only an example of what can be done with this event that can be considered as one of the most interesting attractions of Calabria".




Campanella and Loredana Anania

Pizzo was famous in Bourbon times as a location for the arrival of the mail ship from Naples and as a place known for delicious fish. The main attraction is the Aragonese castle where the deposed King, Joachim Murat, was imprisoned and executed. There is an important Church: San Giorgio Church, a baroque building erected in 1632 with a marble doorway, a sculpted marble fountain and a statue of Christ by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Joachim Murat

Joachim Murat was born on 25th March 1767. He was a strong French soldier and commander, king of Naples and one of Napoleone’s war mate.He married Napoleone’s sister, Carolina and had four children. He was to have become a priest but he preferred to enlist in the army where he had success. In 1808 Napoleone Bonaparte designated Joachim Murat King of Naples , since the throne had been vacated by the Bourbons because Giuseppe Bonaparte had been appointed king of Spain. After the fall of Napoleon and the Treaty of Casalanza (20th May 1815) his fall was definitively sanctioned and there was the return of the Bourbon on the throne of Naples.

After attempting to escape by taking refuge in the castle of Rodi Garganico, Murat attempted to return to Naples via the sea to regain the Kingdom, hoping to leverage the population.Unfortunately, a storm hijacked him in Calabria, Pizzo, whose people, disappointing his expectations, made it easier for Bourbon guards to capture it. Detained in the Aragonese castle, he was tried by a military tribunal and sentenced to shooting on October 13, 1815. Various manuscripts indicate the tomb of Gioacchino Murat in the Matrix Church of Pizzo Calabro


“Sauvez ma face, visez mon cœur ,feu!” The last words were heroic, spoken before dying. There is no fear in voice. His gaze turned to the sea that promised great victories, and instead led him to the last of his days, the same sea that separated him from his great loves: Carolina, Achilles, Letizia, Lucien and Luisa.


THE HISTORY OF THE CASTLE The Castle is of the second half of the fifteenth century. In 1815, the King of Naples Gioacchino Murat was imprisoned and sentenced to death for shooting. The construction of the Murat Castle took place in two different historical periods. The first part of it was made up of the only larger tower called “Torre Mastia”. Its construction was part of the defensive system of the coastal dwellings from the raids and goes back to a hundred years ago after Ferdinand I D'Aragona; it was part of the process of fortification of the coasts of southern Italy. The king of Aragon, left alone against the Turks, sought to secure his kingdom ;for Pizzo was willing to expand the castle with a tower smaller than the previous one and build a little lower, a guard tower. The work lasted from 1481 to 1485. When "Pizzo Land" passed from the Aragonese house to that of Sanseverino and was confiscated in 1504 by a felony of the felony, it was given to Don Diego de Mendoza, general of the Galee; and by inheritance law of succession, those goods passed to the House of Silva, to which the Duke of the Infantdo belonged, which preserved them with all the rights and privileges annexed until 1806, when - by Decree of King Giuseppe Napoleone - the feudality was abolished with all its attributes and prerogatives. After the subversive Law of Feudality, the castle often raised property issues between the Commune and the Military Genius. He was occupied by the government, who used him to barracks and prison. After the abolition of feudality, the castle was sold in 1884 to the Commune of Pizzo. By Decree of 3rd June 1892 , the Castle was declared "National Monument". It was damaged by the earthquake of 1783, which destroyed the upper rooms; they were rebuilt in 1790 under the care and expense of the Ducal Administration. Today, some of its structures have been lost; while, for the rest, the construction preserves its original form. In the castle you can visit the historic reconstruction of the last days of Murat's life.

Murat castle, Pizzo Calabro


The Castle preserves its original appearance. It develops on an inscribed quadrangular plant. Once people accessed through a drawbridge, now replaced by a masonry floor.

Joachim Murat in the castle

On the main portal of the front door there is a tombstone reminding Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law , who was shot inside the castle. In the manor, a historic reconstruction made of costume mannequins reproduces the last days of Joachim Murat's life: in the underground seeds, a long narrow corridor leads to the cells in which Murat and some soldiers of his expedition were locked up; on the first floor there is the room where happened the trial against the former King of Naples and then the cell in which he spent the last moments of his life.

The castle consists of a first floor and a top floor. Under the road level plan there are basements whose access is forbidden, but it is said they lead outside the city, near Vibo Valentia and towards Angitola lake.

From the Castle's terraces you can admire a view of the Gulf of Sant'Eufemia and the volcano Stromboli; from here you can also admire the square of Pizzo, a historical meeting place for the inhabitants of the town.


IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MURAT "The invasion: in the footsteps of Murat», scheduled for April 23, San Giorgio Day, patron of the country, covers the most important stages of the story of King Joachim Murat. He was imprisoned and shot by order of Ferdinand IV right in the Aragonese Castle in 1815.For this reason it is remembered with the name of the King.

THE MUSIC WALK The Music Walk combines classical music with the suggestions of the old town of Nipitino. The program provides a route that touches the most fascinating places of the ancient urban core, with every stage marked by street concerts, in the shadow of the most important monuments and palaces.

Historical re-enactment of Joachim Murat On the 13 rd of October , 1815, Pizzo concluded the troubled existence of Joachim Murat, king of Naples for 6 years, in the so-called "French decade". In June 1815, the Bourbons re-occupied the kingdom; in October of the same year Murat attempted to regain the throne by organizing a naval expedition to Salerno where he, with the help of local supporters, thought of marching on Naples as the capital of the kingdom


A severe sea storm did not allow landing in Campania forcing for fortunes in Calabria. Murat landed with little faith in Pizzo on October 8, 1815. Here they recognized him, and after unsuccessful attempts of dialogue, they arrested him, processed them, shot them.All this was represented in Pizzo on Sunday 8th October 2017, where the splendid autumn day exalted the grace of the place and the beauty of the event.The most natural of the possible sets has made it possible to reconstruct in a perfectly adhering way to the events of 1815 the mulled human affair of Murat.All the places that were the scene of the events were traced back to the many figures who moved from landing to shooting in the castle now devoted to the French general.Realizing an event of this magnitude requires passion, skill, long times, many engagements, in-depth knowledge, meticulous programming.

Ε ταιρ εία


Encastellation In the 10th century the process of encastellation spread all around western Europe, because of the economical progress, the increase in number of the population, the insecurity where people lived and the political crisis. The words used to name these buildings were ‘’castrum’’ or ‘’castellum’’. Main functions of the castle  

Holder’s residence Symbol of prestige and wealth. Centre of economic activities Military centre and defensive bulwark

Historian Barbara Kreutz notes the encastellation of the monastic estates which dominated south Italian politics and contributed to the constant confiscation and invasion of monastic estates; in fact barons sought to increase their power against their foes during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The arrival of the Normans, adept castle-builders, in the early eleventh century exacerbated the tendency towards fortification of every hilltop. Together with the Prince of Salerno, they subdued Calabria and encastellated its mountainous territory, leading to the inevitable invasion of Sicily.


Εταιρεία Vibo Valentia was originally the Greek colony of Hipponion. It was founded, probably around the late 7th century BC, by inhabitants of Locri, one of the principal cities of the Italian Magna Graecia, in the south of Vibo Valentia on the Ionian Sea. Diodorus Siculus reports that the city was taken in 388 BC by Dionysius the Elder tyrant of Syracuse, who deported all the population. The population came back in 378 BC, with the help of the Carthaginians. In the following years Hipponion came under the dominion of the Bruttii, who controlled most of Calabria. After being conquered by the Romans, the name of the town was Latinized to Hipponium. The town became a Roman colony in 194 BC with the name of Vibo Valentia. After a phase of prosperity during the late Republic and the early Empire, with the fall of the Western Roman Empire the town was almost completely abandoned . In 1070 the Normans built a castle at the site of the old Acropolis and in 1235 a new city was established by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, with the name of Monteleone. The city got back the old Roman name of Vibo Valentia only in 1928.

The Norman Castle is located in the highest part of the historic centre of Vibo Valentia. The first structure was realized in the Swabian era on a pre-existent tower built by Roger the Norman in 1070. His construnction was parallel to the refoundation of Monteleone, the medieval Vibo Valentia, decided by the emperor Federico II. In the thirteenth century the Ajou strenghtened the defensive system with the construction of the triangular stronghold in the north side. Probably, in the same period it was built a tank in the courtyard of the castle and the chapel in the name f Saint Michael New rearragements were made by the Pignatelli in the Aragonese era, whose family crest stands even now on the opening portal. Seriously damaged by the catastrophic earthquake of the 1783, the castle was abandoned and fell into ruin. It was restored again by the Bourbons and used as a prison in the 1858. Due to a popular revolution it was damaged again in the 1860 and permanently abandoned.

Ε τ αι ρε ία

The castle rises where was probably located the Acropolis of Hipponion which in part stretched even on the nearby hill.

The second floor was demolished purposely, because it was unsafe, because of the damages reported after the earthquake of 1783.

Today the castle presents cylindrical towers, a jagged tower and a door with an arch of Angevin era. Now venue of archaeological state museum .

The polygonal tower is the oldest part of the castle and is the only place left intact after the earthquake in 1783. It’s interesting note that it differs considerably from any other part of the castle for the construction technique: it presents, in fact, a structural typology that we can find in other Swabian realization like in the castle of Bari, Brindisi or, in Calabria, in Nicastro’s castle. Finally, the construction technique in square and regular Ashlars is typical of Calabrian architecture of the Swabian age, as well as the stone spiral staircase realized to connect various floor.

THE MUSEUM In the picturesque setting of the NormanSwabian Castle of Vibo Valentia is hosted the Archaeological Museum Vito Capialbi with finds that belong to a period of time that goes from the VII sec. B.C. to the III sec. A.D., that illustrate the Greek and Roman civilization from the foundation of the Hipponion Locrian colony to the establishment of the Roman colony of Valentia. The current layout follows a chronological and topographical order and includes materials from the city and archaeological areas around it, enriched by some eight-twentiethcentury collections donated by local scholars. The museum is divided into four main sections: finds from sacred buildings, necropolis, private collections and Roman materials.

The exhibition begins with protostorical objects, excavated in the area, like that of an Neolithic hut. There is a sword of the thirteenth century B.C., which was fortuitously found in a tomb of the 6th century B.C. On the first floor there is an exhibition of finds from the four sacred areas of the city of Magna Graecia including: Corinthian ceramics, Rodies and Attics, large in size, bacilli and bronze elms, votive statuettes and goldsmith, silver and goldsmiths. earrings, rings, fibulae, needles, architectural fragments dating back to 550 BC. found in a large Doric temple.

The lower floor exhibits finds from necropolises dating from the end of the 7th to the 4th century B.C., among which there is a gold laminate with an inscription in Doric-Ionic dialect attesting the Orphic worship, with advice for the deceased in the afterlife. It was found a tomb of a woman datable between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. In the last section, dedicated to Roman times, there are preserved finds from Sant'Aloe where various domus and a thermal plant with splendid mosaics have been put in light.


The “Monetiere Capialbi “ The Capialbi Coin Exhibition opens every year the Vibo Valentia Culture Week. The project is divided into a series of cultural events hosted by the "Santa Chiara Cultural Park" and the Swabian-Norman Castle. The “Monetiere Capialbi” collection consists of about 4000 pieces. The exhibition of part of the Monetiere Capialbi, was conceived as an experimental didactic course divided into two phases: the first is the immediate view of the coins exposed two-sided (the visitor through an exhibitor with internal mirrors can approach the coin to look at one face but actually see two); the second thread is designed to allow the visitor to see the coins on one face in the remaining showcases and the other will see it in a monitor located inside the showcase. The visitor can also interact and improve the vision thanks to an external keyboard that will allow him to scroll quickly on the coins and to dwell on that of his interest.

Through the exhibition of the “Monetiere” is presented the figure of Vito Capialbi collector. For this purpose, it was dedicated a section of the exhibition to the documents provided by the State Archives of Vibo Valentia . It is a project that aims at providing only a small taste of what is the great heritage of the Capialbi family and of the rich history of Vibo Valentia.


Εταιρεία Theater and music at the Castle In the summer period, the Norman Swabian Castle of Vibo Valentia hosts several groups of musicians,such as , the Concert of the Percussion Ensemble that in the beautiful frame of the Castle attracted a lot of people; they performed four formidable soloists together with their Master Vittorino Naso in an original and exciting concert featuring masterpieces by Westlake, John Bergamo and Stewart Copeland. The National Archaeological Museum "Vito Capialbi"also hosts, in the courtyard of the Norman-Swabian Castle of Vibo, "Theatre at the Castle of Emotions”. Performances are usually offered by companies present in the area, such as the theatre companies "Teatro Incanto" of Catanzaro, that "Pizzitana" and "The Comedians".



Εταιρεία Visegrád is a small castle town in Pest country, Hungary.It is north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend. Visegrád is famous for the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel.

Visegrád was first mentioned in 1009 as a county town and the chief town of an archdeaconry. After the destructive Mongol invasion of Europe in 1242, the town was rebuilt in a slightly different location to the south. King Charles of Hungary made Visegrád, his hometown, the royal seat of Hungary in 1325. In the same time his diplomat Stephen Sáfár was appointed castellan .

In 1335, Charles hosted at Visegrád a two-month congress with the Bohemian king,John of Luxembourg, and the Polish king,Casimir 3. The first royal house on this site was built by King Charles I of Hungary after 1325. In the second half of the 14th century, this was enlarged into a palace by his son, King Louis I of Hungary.

Εταιρεία The Lower Castle is the part of the fortification system that connects the Upper Castle with the Danube. In its centre rises the Solomon Tower, a large, hexagonal residential tower dating from the 13th century. In the 14th century, new curtain walls were built around the tower. During a Turkish raid in 1544, the southern part of the tower collapsed. Its renovation began only in the 1870s and was finished in the1960s.


Castle 1st draft  
Castle 1st draft