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The Castle

The Castle of Monteserico, located in the hamlet of Genzano di Lucania, 18 km from the town ,  is not of known origin, even if there are historical verified references. Refuge for nobles, monks and actresses Some people date back the construction of the castle to the Roman times, but many, like Giustino Fortunato, see it rightly as Norman. Others, like the German medievalistCarl Arnold Willemsen -who lavished a remarkable care on the investigation of the age and of the historical figure of Fredrick II Emperor – felt that, being the building a small one, it was more a resort than a place of defense, but recent studies prove the contrary, especially if we consider that next to it there was an extended village. However, it seems certain that the castle was changed into a fortress in the age of Ottone II, in 980. In 1041 it was the scene of a battle where the Normans of Melfi defeated the Byzantines of Montepeloso. The castle was renovated and expanded by the Swabians and it seems that it was often visited by Fredrick II because it is the natural habitat of birds of prey, loved by the Emperor. Around 1000 the castle was designated as Magister Massarium Apulia, in the Middle Ages it was refuge for the Basilian monks, and in its nether there are caves dated to prehistory. When, in the first decade of the XV cent., the hamlet of Monteserico disappeared, the castle continued to be occupied; after the First World War it was refurbished and  became  the dwelling of Lida Borelli, star of the silent cinema. A simple pyramidal structure The castle very sober in its architectural structure, rises up to 557 meters above the sea level, on the crown of the mountain from which the city neighborhood’s name derives. The form of the castle is called a pyramidenturm. It’s a volume in the shape of pseudo-truncated pyramid, surrounded by moat. The structure is composed in the middle by a quadrangle tower and an enclosure underneath with walls-scarp. Crossed a bridge and the access portal, we find a short square court, which divides the lookout tower from the external mass that encloses it. The plant of the low ground is divided into two parts by an arch that supports a pointed cross -barrel vaulting.  You had access to the next two floors, without traces of their antique structure, through winding stairs completely destroyed. Only on one side the castle is linked to the clearing through the drawbridge; on the other sides it rises cliff-side on the bare cliff.   Sources: http://www.lucaniaonline.it/monteserico.htm http://www.basilicata.cc/lucania/monteserico ANTONIO MASSARO gazzettadelmezzogiorno.it – 6 April 2010

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