Gnuni - Castello di Pietrarossa
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  • Pietrarossa Castle
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Si Trova: a Caltanissetta, nei pressi del cimitero
Lat: 37° 29' 12.76822" N - Long: 14° 4' 14.74033" E

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It is a fortress, probably from the Middle Ages, located in Caltanissetta, at the center of the first residential settlements, and then remained outside the town walls.

The origin of the name could indicate the color of the bricks that once covered its towers.

The castle is one of the oldest buildings in the town.

The hypotheses on the origins are still the subject of debate: it is difficult to reconstruct the pre-norman history due to the absence of documentation.

The only certain information concerns the period following the establishment of the Great Count Ruggero d'Altavilla.

The most accredited version says that the castle was built by the byzantines between 750 and 800, but there are also supporters of Arab origin.

Under the aragonese, the castle has been the seat of three Sicilian parliaments, the first of which, in 1295, saw the proclamation of Frederick II of Aragon to king of Sicily by the barons.

In the fifteenth century the castle became the property of the Moncada family, lords of Caltanissetta; then began its period of decline as, now used only for military purposes, it was considered unsuitable as a noble residence.

At the end of the 15th century the castle's basements were used as prisons.

On the night of 27 February 1567, due to a violent earthquake, much of the impregnable fortress collapsed; only a few embankments, two towers and a thin guard tower remained, which collapsed in the early twentieth century.

In 1600, having become a rock quarry, the body of Adelasia, grandson of Ruggero d'Altavilla, was found during one of the expoliations, surrounded by a copper crown that indicated its name and progeny.

Today only a few leftovers remain of the castle: a lookout hollowed in the rock, a small Roman arch with a slit above it, a cistern.

The ruins have been declared a national monument.

The castle is currently owned by the state and has undergone some restoration work on the two towers; it cannot be visited because it is in a state of complete neglect, but the panorama that can be admired from this castle is truly spectacular.


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