Si Trova: a Motta S.Anastasia
Lat: 37° 30' 42.71074" N - Long: 14° 58' 15.90078" E
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The Motta Sant'Anastasia Castle is the smallest of the three dungeons built by the normans along the Simeto Valley.
The tower was built between 1070 and 1074 by the will of the great Count Ruggero and is placed in a position from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Etna, the nearby hills and the plain of Catania.
It is a massive rectangular-shaped tower about 21 meters high and represents a typical medieval defensive structure.
It consists of three elevations; only the first of these still has the original pointed arch windows (external) and round arches (interior).
The other two square windows of the other levels, as well as the current entrance door, date back to the 15th century.
The ground floor was intended for military housing; in it there are loopholes for defense.
Also on the ground floor was the cistern to collect rainwater and where the Count of Modica, Bernardo Cabrera, was imprisoned in 1410 when, already an old man but still infatuated, pursued the young Queen of Sicily Bianca of Navarre.
The count was also the object of ridicule by the people when, naked, he was left dangling with a rope from a window! The first floor was intended for the garrison commander's lodging.
The second floor is characterized by a pointed arch.
The three elevations were connected by a series of wooden retractable ladders.
The final covering consists of a pointed vault with a median supporting arch set on shelves.
The roof terrace almost retains the battlement intact.
Already in 1091 the castle was granted to the Diocese of Catania, then for nineteen years it was the residence of the Count of Aidone Enrico il Rosso.
Later it was owned by Rinaldo Perollo, Sancho Ruiz de Lihorj, King Alfonso D'Aragona, Aloisio Sanchez, Antonio Moncada Count of Adernò and, from 1900, of the municipality of Motta.
Around the fortress there are still remains of a wall within which other buildings must have been located whose ruins were still partly visible at the beginning of the 20th century.
It is currently used as an exhibition space and tourist information center.
Inside there is the Historical Museum (12th - 16th centuries) with a large screen on the ground floor where the images of a video in several languages about the history of Motta run; on the first floor there is a Hall of weapons.
The visit is free and the opening times are as follows: from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 13:00; Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; afternoon opening also Tuesday and Thursday from 15:00 to 18:00.
Closed on Sundays.
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