Prizzi Castle

The castle of Prizzi, located on the ridge of the mountain where the town stands, dominates a vast territory crossed by rivers, an area that was once the site of important communication routes.
It was built in 745 at the behest of Emperor Constantine V Capraino, at a time when Sicily, which was under Byzantine rule, was threatened by Muslim incursions. Su chose to build the castle in Prizzi because it enjoyed a strategic position which allowed to receive and transmit smoke and fire signals very easily to nearby strongholds. However, the construction of this fortification was not sufficient to avoid the conquest by the Saracens which took place in 830. The new rulers occupied the areas where a tower already stood, and built two more. These two watchtowers later became the prison of the Saracens themselves: they were locked up here in 937 by the Christians of Prizzo, helped by the villages of Vicari, Corleone and Bivona. In 1073 the Norman Ruggero conquered all the villages and Saracen castles and the two towers were thus used as bell towers: one tower became the bell tower of the Mother Church, the other of the Church of Santo Antonio.
Unfortunately, the castle of Prizzi is today reduced to a ruin state.
The castle consisted of the must, the ordinary residence of the castellan, and the surrounding walls. It did not include a building which was located instead in the main square of the town. In the castle lived, in addition to the castellan, the deputy castellan, the squire, the soldiers, the chaplain and the deputy chaplain, all followed by their Christian families. In fact, they built a small chapel inside the castle.

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