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“Interesting castle and great views”

Castello di Rocca Imperiale
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The castle is situated on the top of a hill on which Rocca Imperiale’s residential centre is extended with its houses arranged in stando, al about 200 metres sea levei. The fortress that Frederick II of Swabia had built in 1225 in a place of great military and strategic importance to control the Ionian Coast (Via. Publica de Apulia). Frederick II (26 December 1194 – 13 December 1250) was a Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily in the Middle Ages, a member of theHouse of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous. However, his enemies, especially the popes, prevailed, and his dynasty collapsed soon after his death. Historians have searched for superlatives to describe him, as in the case of Donald Detwiler, who wrote: A man of extraordinary culture, energy, and ability – called by a contemporary chronicler stupor mundi (the wonder of the world), by Nietzsche the first European, and by many historians the first modern ruler – Frederick established in Sicily and southern Italy something very much like a modern, centrally governed kingdom with an efficient bureaucracy. Besides, the principal defensive purpose, Frederick united the task to give a home to the Court in their movements and in their hunting purposes of which the territory was suitable. At the construction of the castle there followed the development of a flourishing residential centre in which conducted the people to a series of fortified settlements that are present in the territory. After Frederick’s death, Rocca Imperiale was entrusted to the Knights of the Hierosolymite Order by Charles I of Anjou, that in 1271 stayed in the castle, was accepted by the inhabitants of Rocca Imperiale as a liberator. Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266,[1] though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Thereafter, he claimed the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples (and for this he is usually titled King of Naples after 1282, as are his successors). Having ended the Anjou domination, in 1487, Alfonso II of Aragon strengthened Rocca Imperiale’s castle with the addition of a wall and creneillated towers. In the subsequent two centuries many were the large landowners that alternated in the government of the territoty, constantly mangled by barbaric raids. In 1664 the castle endured the attack of 4000 Saracen pirates that devastated Rocca lmperiale, destroying the ancient thirteenth century church of which today remains only the beautiful Romanesque bell - tower with mullioned windows and frames. In l7 l 7 the feud passes on to the Crivelli dukes to which they give the last significant alterations to the castle, with the addition of the top floor which followed beginning in 1835 a period of abandonment and devastation that reduced the castle to a pit of building material. This period of abandonment has now finally concluded thanks to the works of restoration, that are still in progress, strongly desired by the Municipal Administration.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 4 November 2013

This castle is open for unguided tours and you can also reserve to have a guided tour (not known if in English). We did the unguided tour. There isn't anything in the castle to explain what you are seeing but most of it is obvious. They have done an interesting restoration with glass walkways where some of the floors would have been. Not all of the areas are accessible. The castle have been modified greatly over the past 800 years.

There are great views of towards the sea and the surrounding hills from the castle. There is a small entry fee but we felt it was worthwhile.

Be aware that the castle is on top of the town and you will have to walk up to it. There is a marked walk from the parking but it is a steep town with few steps. You will be rewarded when you get to the castle.

2  Thank BrunoAP
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