Ducal Castle of Corigliano Calabro

Ducal Castle of Corigliano Calabro

The castle of Corigliano Calabro is a fortress dating back to the 11th century, located in Corigliano Calabro, in the municipality of Corigliano-Rossano, in the province of Cosenza. It has been defined as one of “the most beautiful and best preserved castles in southern Italy”. The origin of the castle of Corigliano Calabro is linked to the figure of Roberto il Guiscardo (Roberto d’Altavilla), the Norman-looking condottiere gigantic. It was he, according to his biographer Goffredo Malaterra, who wanted to build a fortress near Rossano in 1073, as part of the defense line built in Valle Crati between 1064 and 1080. Rossano was then still heavily imbued with religion and culture Byzantine and frequent episodes of rebellion against the new conquerors. The nearby Corigliano, despite being just a small village perched on the hill called “del Serratore”, could be influenced by it and Roberto didn’t want to take risks. Hence the decision to build the castle which, according to the Norman tradition, had not so much the purpose of protecting the territory from external dangers, as to make the community feel the weight of the dominical power. The first lord of the castle of Corigliano was a vassal del Guiscardo, Framundo, from L’Oudon in France, followed by his brother Rinaldo and then his nephew Guglielmo. The garrison Castellare di Corigliano together with the monastic castle garrison of San Mauro, built on monasteries, were granted by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia to the archbishop Cicala, in fidecommisso. After a century from the construction of the fortress the king Tancredi of Sicily granted in feud Corigliano and all its lands to Ruggero Sanseverino of Bisignano in 1192. The Sanseverino, destined to become one of the richest families and powerful of the Kingdom of Naples, they maintained their power in Corigliano until 1616. It was Roberto Sanseverino, count of Corigliano between 1339 and 1 361, to implement the interventions that began to radically transform the appearance of the castle so as to mitigate the primitive military image and make it in part suitable to host family members during their stay in Corigliano. The construction of some important and comfortable noble rooms dates back to this period. Geronimo Sanseverino, born around 1447, became count of Corigliano in 1472. An ambiguous character with a weak character, influenced by Antonello Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno, his relative, he participated in the so-called “conspiracy of the barons” who in 1485 was plotted against Ferdinand I ‘Aragon.

 

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