Norman Castle of Salemi

Norman Castle of Salemi

Davide Mauro - CC4.0


 Piazza Alicia - Salemi (TP)

The Norman Castle of Salemi stands on the top of the hill where the city of Salemi stands and dominates the Belice valley.
It was built at the behest of Ruggero the Norman in about 1077 on pre-existing Greek-Roman fortifications -arabe. It was remodeled by Frederick II of Swabia in the 13th century. In 1789 it was used as a prison, and on May 14, 1860 from this castle Garibaldi hoisted the tricolor flag , proclaiming Salemi "capital of Italy" and the Garibaldi dictatorship. Today it is a museum and concerts and conferences are held there.
The castle has a fairly unitary layout, little altered after the Norman-Swabian era. It has three corner towers, one cylindrical and two square while a fourth existing tower in the north corner probably collapsed in the 17th century. None of the square towers exceeds the top terrace of the cylindrical tower, still today the highest point of the city.
The south-west elevation, containing the entrance, is characterized by the presence of one of the two square towers and the tower cylindrical framing the access portal to the castle. The square tower has a chest balcony with a seventeenth-century balustrade in place of a slit. The entrance to the castle consists of two pointed arches of different widths, placed on the same axis, separated by two slits in which the portcullis ran. The entrance was defended on the outside by a guardhouse added in the 14th century
The Salemi castle has an almost rectangular courtyard surrounded by walls on three sides and a residential building along the south-east side, a hall originally rectangular tripartite later.

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