Lat: 37° 34' 42.78113" N - Long: 13° 12' 56.53856" E
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The castle of Caltabellotta was built in the mid-twelfth century on top of a high hill, in a steep place.
In 1194 Queen Sibilla, widow of Tancredi, with her daughters and little William III, heir to the throne, found refuge within its walls before surrendering to Henry IV.
According to some historians, in 1270 a famous banquet was held here by Guido of Dampierre Count of Flanders who, having returned from the Crusade with King Louis IX of France, wanted to celebrate his comrades in arms together with Charles of Anjou.
It must have been here that in 1302 the famous Peace of Caltabellotta was signed, which ended the war of the Vespers between the Angevins and the Aragonese, marking the passage of Sicily from the French to the Spanish influence.
Furthermore, the castle hosted the Luna family during the period of the "Case of Sciacca".
By an architectural point of view, unfortunately, not much remains of the castle.
It was built in two different constructive moments, and develops on various levels in adherence to the rock.
The prospectus of the entrance tower remains, in squared blocks, with a beautiful arched doorway and some wall structures in various points of the relief and on the top, where there is also a cistern now buried.
In a niche, designed to accommodate an archer, we can still see the accomodation to positioning the crossbow.
The exciting climb, via a steep staircase set into the rock, allows you to reach the summit, called the Pizzo, which is located at almost a thousand meters high.
Here the view extends 360 degrees over a splendid landscape that goes from Capo Bianco to the island of Pantelleria in the south, and towards the Sicani Mountains in the north.
The castle ruins can be visited free of charge.
Today we discover...
An impregnable fortress where the Temple of Venus stood
Castello di Venere
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