La Grua Talamanca Castle in Carini
The La Grua Talamanca Castle of Carini was originally a stronghold for the sighting of enemies.
The first construction dates back to the Arab period, although the first historical records date back to the Norman period, 11th-12th century , under the feudal lord Rodolfo Bonello. In 1397, at the behest of the king of Sicily Martino I, the La Grua family acquired the castle and with it the barony of Carini. When the only daughter of Umberto La Grua, Ilaria, marries Gilberto Talamanca, the La Grua Talamanca dynasty originates, from which the castle takes its name today. After the fall of feudalism in 1812, the La Grua Talamanca family was forced to leave Sicily to move to France. In 1975 the castle was donated by the heirs to the region.
The medieval walls of the castle date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. On the second door of the castle, where the pointed arch extends its momentum, the typical Arab-Norman elements are recognizable. The portals are surmounted by some shields representing a crane, alluding to the La Grua family; others show three clods of earth, probably the symbol of the Chiaramonte. In the portal of the upper floor is the coat of arms of the Lanza-La Grua, characterized by two rampant lions.
In contrast to the exterior, with a sober and austere appearance typical of the medieval period, the interior is rich in decorations. Of particular interest are the frescoed rooms which often show different and superimposed styles. To characterize the frescoes are the shades of color used: light colors, pastel colors. On the vault of the Baroness's room there is the beautiful fresco of Penelope and Ulysses.
In the chapel of the castle there is an artistic wooden tabernacle of the early seventeenth century with Corinthian columns that prospectively mark the space and a wooden women's gallery that allowed the view from the upper floor. The ballroom on the noble floor is a classic example of a fifteenth-century environment with a wooden coffered ceiling, a fireplace embellished with the La Grua coat of arms and large windows.
The castle is known above all for the story of the Baroness of Carini.