Si Trova: a Pietraperzia
Lat: 37° 25' 29.06078" N - Long: 14° 8' 10.39868" E
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The Pietraperzia Castle is located on the highest elevations of the rocky ridge that dominates the town; its history begins in 1060, when following the Count Ruggero the norman, Abbo Barresi arrives in Sicily, and builds the castle on the permission of Conte Ruggero himself.
In 1320 the reconstruction of the castle began, adding also a quadrangular tower.
The castle belonged for many generations to the Barresi-Branciforte family, who had the boundary walls reinforced with new towers both quadrangular and circular, and towards the end of the century Giovanni Antonio Barresi decided to build a third great building at a short distance from the fourteenth-century tower.
It is a rectangular plan building at a lower level than the previous buildings.
In 1571 the ancient fortress was transformed into an elegant palace.
With the end of feudalism, the castle was rented to the municipality that used the cantinate floors as a prison: this use will last until 1906.
The majestic castle had remained almost completely intact in its various architectural components until the early 1900s, but natural disasters and neglect have reduced it to a ruin.
What remains is worthy of the utmost attention, as it is one of the greatest examples of castle architecture in Sicily.
There are rare and precious cobalt blue monochrome majolica floors on a white background.
The architectural ruins of the castle are located roughly in three different locations depending on the different periods in which they were built.
The remains of the oldest nucleus dominate the center of the village, while the buildings of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were joined by the expansion of the town.
The fourteenth-century keep is reduced to almost half of its volume by the collapse of one of its vertical portions.
Partially recognizable is the boundary wall with its circular towers.
Finally, the only building that has a recognizable unitary and regular layout is the grandiose fourteenth-sixteenth-century palace on an oblong rectangular plan with an open-air courtyard.
In some underground areas, identifiable as prisons, graffiti depicting hunting scenes, capital executions, gallows, boats, human faces and figures, writings, names, dates, crosses, stars and birds were found.
The keep was located above the top of the hill and partly had been carved out from the rock, thus constituting an impregnable bulwark of exceptional strength.
The entrance door to the castle was facing south, that of the keep to the north-west; they could be accessed from the inner courtyard by steps cut into the rock.
Below the keep there are the steps, cut into the rock, which led to the underground prisons, and to the tower of the "Corona del Re", with an octagonal base.
The chapel, with a single nave, was embellished with frescoes and a painting depicting the Madonna della Catena.
The castle can be visited by appointment, contact the traffic police.
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