Caccamo castle

Caccamo castle

Peppesev - CC3.0


 Corso Umberto I - Caccamo (PA)

The Castello di Caccamo is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Sicily.
The Castle stands majestically on a large cliff overlooking the valley of the San Leonardo river. The first plant of the Castle was, most likely, a watchtower but over the following centuries the structure was gradually transformed, becoming one of the manors that belonged to the most noble and powerful Sicilian families: the Chiaramonte, the Prades, the Cabrera, the Henriquez , the Amato, the De Spuches ...
In 1094 the city of Caccamo was granted as a fief to Goffredo de Sagejo, a Norman lord who came to Sicily following Ruggero. The first decisive transformations of the castle are probably due to him, which was made stronger and impregnable. The fortress became so impregnable that it was chosen by Matteo Bonello and his companions as a refuge, after the failure of the so-called "conspiracy of the barons". After Bonello, other noble families inhabited the castle: the noble Chiaramonte family from Palermo, to whom we owe a further expansion of the castle, the construction of some towers, stables, the audience hall and the large arms room.
In the seventeenth century, with the Amato family, the castle lost its defensive function to become a noble residence. The castle was enriched with terraces, single and mullioned windows. The current structure of the castle includes four external towers and three internal towers to defend a narrower wall: the Mastra tower, partially collapsed following the 1823 earthquake, the Gibellina tower and that of the Fossa or Dammuso.
The castle is accessed via a long stepped climb. At the entrance, a stone bas-relief of a hand holding a scale recalls the baronial right to administer justice. After the entrance, the ancient stables follow on the left and the guardhouse on the right, finally you reach the panoramic terrace on which the small court chapel stands. From the terrace an arch leads to the prisons. In some cells there are numerous graffiti and paintings made by inmates. There is also a room with a trap door in the bottom of which there must have been blades that inflicted the death of the victim.
The large atrium with the seventeenth-century portal therefore leads into the great hall of the notorious conspiracy of Bonello and the other rebels. The main floor develops longitudinally and ends with two terraces that served as a lookout: one was used to control the ancient entrance and the other to control the external streets. The wooden roofs of the various rooms are decorated with floral motifs in the Baroque style and probably date back to the first half of the 17th century.
Two legends are linked to the castle of Caccamo: the legend of the nun dressed in white and the legend of the castle of Caccamo.

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