Castle of Santa Caterina in Favignana

Castle of Santa Caterina in Favignana

Civa61 - CC3.0


  Favignana (TP)

The Castle of Santa Caterina in Favignana is perched on the top of the mountain of the same name, which overlooks the island so as to be visible both from Trapani and from Erice.
It is believed that the castle rises in the place where there was a watch tower, built by the Saracens during their domination, at the same time as the one erected on the site where the castle of San Leonardo was built, where today the Palazzo Florio is located, and to another, of which almost nothing remains track, called the Tower. These towers should have constituted the Saracen defensive system, and from them the coat of arms of the municipality of Favignana could have originated, that is, three towers on which a bird of prey rests, where the three towers represent the defense from enemy attacks, symbolized by the bird rapacious. Ruggero I d’Altavilla transformed the first two towers into the fortresses of Santa Caterina and San Leonardo, not making changes to the third tower, but having the San Giacomo fort built. Subsequently the castle of San Caterina was given in concession to Palmerio Abate, but soon the Angevins imposed themselves on the Sicilian scene, who with their fiscal pressures soon induced the Sicilians to revolt. In 1282, under the leadership of Palmerio Abate, the French garrison was exterminated. Having driven out the Angevins, King Peter of Aragon appointed Palmerio Abate and his heirs as lords of Favignana. During the years of Bourbon rule over the Two Sicilies (1734-1848), the Bourbons implemented a policy of extreme repression against the conspirators, and many were sentenced to detention in the fort of Santa Caterina. The fort was partially demolished and devastated in 1860 by the rioters, who even took the railings away from the castle, and also devastated the chapel.
The castle of Santa Caterina was built in local limestone in a rectangular shape with protrusions symmetrical to the four corners. The ground floor was sunken into the rock and it was here that, starting from the 17th century, political prisoners languished. The first floor consisted of accommodation and was overlooked by the viewing terrace. A small moat ran along the facade and the entrance was possible through a drawbridge. The light inside the castle penetrated through a large number of pointed windows, loopholes, openings and holes. Inside the castle there was also a chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine where the priest officiated mass for the inmates.

Today, the castle of Santa Caterina clearly shows the signs of time and above all of the abandonment in which it has been for several years: the drawbridge of the castle of Santa Caterina is replaced by a corridor; the coat of arms referring to the Aragonese family is still in place, but now almost illegible; the rooms of the dungeons have been closed and, consequently, even the messages of the detainees are no longer visible. But the view from the top of the castle is wonderful.
You can get to the castle thanks to the road that runs through a large part of the hill of Santa Caterina, the viable road reaches about halfway, after which you need to continue on foot.

Close to me

Back to Isole Egadi

Thinghs to do in Isole Egadi


Coming soon events. Traditional Festivals, Historical reenactments, Musics and enterteinment, Sport, Tour,...

Isole Egadi Typical Products


Typical products, traditional Dishes, typical food and desserts, Wine, Beer and Drinks, Handicrafts,...

Fun facts about Isole Egadi

Interesting and fun facts about Isole Egadi

Movie location and set, Sicilian myths, Legends, habits and Traditions, famous places, folk tales,interesting facts,...