Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte, well-known for its octagonal
shape, is one of the main attractions of
The castle, built by order of Emperor Federico
II in 1240, is about 16 Km far from Andria
and it dominates the lands below in the
sunny setting of Murgia.
It is the only castle in the world with
that kind of shape. It is shrouded in mystery.
An historical outline
After the Emperor's death the castle was
used as a prison.
In the year 1628, after the fall of the
Swabians, Carlo I d'Angiò would
have imprisoned there Manfredi's sons,
i.e. Federico, Enrico and Enzo.
In 1945 Ferdinando d'Aragona stayed in
the castle before being crowned king of
the Two Sicilies in Barletta. The present
castle's name appears in a decree by the
same king, which was promulgated by Altamura
Since the XVIII century the castle, unattended,
was devastated, marbles and furniture
were stolen and it became a shelter for
shepherds, brigands, political refugees.
In 1876, before falling into disrepair,
the castle was bought by the Italian State
and it was restored.
In the year 1996 the castle was declared
humanity world property by UNESCO thanks
to its uniqueness.
The castle is mainly a monumental ortoganal-shaped
building equipped with eight towers standing
at the eight edges of the building itself.
The castle has two floors; on each floor
you will find eight trapezoidal rooms
overlooking an octagonal-shaped courtyard.
Trough two symmetric flights of stairs
you will get to a stately portal on the
east side of the building.
The castle is made of three building materials:
white or pink according to the parts
of the day and the weather conditions;
marbel, white or
lightly veined; originally it was
probably the main material for the
- coral crushed stone, used for ornaments
in the rooms on the ground floor, in
interior and outer fittings of doors
and windows and in the main portal.
The mix of those building
materials and their distribution throughout
the building are not random. They play
an important role in the visitors' chromatic