Castel del Monte, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. Commissioned by Frederick II of Swabia in the 13th Century,
Wine & Food Magazine
Castel del Monte sits on a small stretch of the Murge plateau in Apulia, 37 km from Bari. Universally considered an example of genius medieval architecture, Castel del Monte with its massive and octagonal structure actually unites elements of diverse styles and traditions from different epochs in history. Romanic lines of the lions at the Castle’s entrance, Gothic cornice of the towers, Classical movement of its interior frieze, in the defensive grandeur of the structure in general and in the Islamic refinement of its mosaics.
Built in c. 1240, Castel del Monte became the permanent seat of the Court of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.The mathematical and astronomical rigor of the Castle’s design, is studied so as to create symmetries of light during the winter solstice and summer equinox.
Eight are the sides of the Castle, and eight are the rooms on the ground floor as well as on the second floor; the rooms are trapezoidal, and placed in an order so as to form yet more octagons. The corners of the Castle are attached to eight towers that are, of course, octagonal. It is said that inside the Castle’s courtyard was installed a pool of water, itself another octagon.
An invaluable masterpiece of Italian history, Castel del Monte fully deserves its designation as a World Heritage Site. Visit this enigma of a castle and live its 1,000 mysteries!