Montalbano Elicona Castle, Messina, Sicily (with Map & Photos)

The Montalbano Elicona Castle is located in Montalbano Elicona, Italian municipality of the Metropolitan City of Messina, in Sicily. It is located on piazza Castello in the historic center of the medieval village of Val Demone.

Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily
Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily

The area of ​​the castle is identified with the primitive Roman fortress in which the later fortifications of Byzantine footprint are sedimented, culminating in the reconstruction carried out by the Normans. In the more than eight centuries of History, Montalbano Elicona Castle has been owned several times for alternative and obscure events: the first written documentation is due to the Arab traveling geographer Idrisi who tells it in the Book of Ruggero of 1154 as a quadrangular watchtower placed at noon provided with defensive walls.

Emperor Frederick II of Sicily imposes a new political order and a different configuration to the urban structure of the central medieval rebellion at his will due to the promulgation of the Melfitane laws or Constitutions of Melfi, demolishing part of the primitive artifact, deporting the majority of the population in Agrigento, and then proceeding to a total reconstruction of the fortress, late by his great-grandson Frederick III of Sicily The nucleus of the original summit was born as a military garrison but, due to its position, soon it was ineffective and inefficient as a defensive bulwark.

Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily
Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily

The fortification, although located more than 900 meters above sea level, dominates and controls a limited part of the coast and access roads on the Tyrrhenian coast. The addition of a polygonal tower at the north end is to change the structure in the Swabian period, while the lower-altitude fortifications begin to take on the appearance of the old rectangular building walls, where the northwest side is formed by the primitive bastion it has always been the subject of stratified interventions. in this period the intervention of the architect Riccardo da Lentini is certain.

Due to the salubrity and mildness of the climate it lends itself in a particular way as leisure, residence assuming connotations and defensive architecture. During the reign of Federico a census of castles was initiated and with the Decree "Statutum de reparatione castrorum" (1231-1240), which provided for their renovation and maintenance at the expense of the citizens. The castle is not included in the Castra exempta elaborated by the will of Emperor Federico II of Swabia with the collaboration of Pier Della Vigna elaborated in 1239. It does not appear the palaces and hunting and leisure residences, the "domus solaciorum", of relevance however directed and especially some well-known sites, often under the control of the Curia, which at that time had not yet been built or completed.

The riots in Palermo that gave rise to the Sicilian Vespers are born from the struggle of the factions of the Latinos and the Aragonese, the first supported the house of Latin tension of the Angevins as a continuation of the families, Altavilla and Hohenstaufen, the second faction favorable to the "natural" succession determined by the combination of the double Hohenstaufen-Aragon with the marriage of Pedro III of Aragon, called El Grande and Constanza II of Sicily, daughter of Manfredi of Hohenstaufen and granddaughter of Federico II of Sicily. executed from the kingdom in only five larger constituencies. Specifically: " the many lagoons that allow a range of exploration of more than 270 degrees, walkways and battlements for the upper crowning of the building.

Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily
Montalbano Elicona Castle Sicily

The combination of openings in the lower basement and large windows on the main floor, the absence of Ramparts, buttresses and rivellini, ditches, drawbridges and additional protective walls, make it possible to create a true royal residence used for idleness and the delights of the rulers. The castle is owned by the municipality, in excellent condition after undergoing long restoration works that make it usable in all environments. Two different restoration campaigns have returned a monument among the most beautiful in the province and in all of Sicily as an exhibition site. Recently established the Museum of Arms and the Center for the development of the medieval village. On May 7, 2015, on the occasion of the 1st International Conference of Studies on Arnaldo Da Villanova, the tomb was inaugurated and highlighted according to the importance of the figure.

Inside the manor, there is the Palatine Chapel of the Holy Trinity, the exclusive privilege of the sovereign, which can be identified as Tricora or Cuba to the Byzantine era, chronologically contemporary with the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, built in the Citadel outside the perimeter of the Palatium, turned, and reached to us as the minor basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and San Nicolò. Inside the chapel is the Spartan tombstone of Arnaldo Da Villanova. The doctor, mathematician and alchemist, advisor to the Crown of Aragon, present on numerous occasions in Sicily and often invited to the castle of Montalbano, died during a trip to the port of Genoa, therefore, it is probable that the marble plaque present in the chapel it only has commemorative functions.

Montalbano Elicona Castle Map