Si Trova: a Mazara del Vallo
Lat: 37° 39' 1.437261" N - Long: 12° 35' 28.41149" E
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Only one trace remains of the castle of Mazara del Vallo in Piazza Mokarta: a very short stretch of a wall with an ogival door.
Despite those little remains, the charm is such that it is the most significant symbol of Mazara.
The castle was built in 1072 by the Norman Ruggero d'Altavilla to resist the assaults of the Saracens who landed from Africa to try to reconquer Sicily.
It stood almost on the seashore at a high point on the cliff, and had great importance for the Norman conquest of the area.
It was built using the local tufa stone, and was not large.
Originally it had a quadrangular plan and a square keep, but over the centuries there were added towers and walls that made it architecturally not very harmonious, as the towers were roundish and also of different heights, like the walls.
Inside it, besides the Great Count Ruggero, Frederick III of Aragon and Queen Eleanor of Anjou also was here in 1318, then Peter II of Sicily, King Martino I of Sicily and finally King Alfonso II of Naples in 1495.
In the 16th century the castle was used as a prison.
The walls remained largely intact until 1853, when the tower collapsed, and the whole castle was in danger.
The municipality did not provide for repairs, indeed the castle was demolished in 1880; in its place the public garden was built, which is the current Villa Jolanda, and only the small part of the wall was left with the Norman arch still visible today.
Today we discover...
The largest open-air museum of contemporary art all over Europe
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