The Castle

The castle of the Arabs recovered from the stupor mundi 380 meters on the hill Pancrazio, at the end of the street of the same name, the ruins of the castle dominate the Bruttii capital. Raised by the Saracens perhaps on the ruins of the Rocca Bretica, after the year 1000 it was reinforced by the Arab Caliph Saati. Around 1130 its primitive structure was reinforced by the Duke of the Normans Ruggero II. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1184, Frederick II took care of the reconstruction towards the 1239, according to a draft of its military architects. Built by local labor with blocks of calcareous tufa of Mendicino and Laurignano caves, the castle was rectangular in plant and on several floors, with two square and two polygonal towers in the corners. The wrath of the emperor According to a tradition no longer followed, in 1235 Frederick II incarcerated there his son Arrigo Lo Zoppo, guilty of collusion with the municipalities of northern Italy which rebelled against the emperor.

Princely residence In 1433, from being a military fortress, the castle was adapted for royal residence to house Louis III of Anjou, with his wife Margaret, daughter of Amadeus VIII of Savoy. Towards the middle of the century, during the rule of the Aragonese, also the king Alfonso stayed there. In the years of the Angevin-Aragonese conflict, it was used to mint silver and copper coins. It is certain that in spite of the multiple uses that were made of it, the castle of Cosenza was still, at the beginning of 1500, one of the most important military forts of northern Calabria.

The armory, the religious vocation, the terrible earthquakes Around 1540 it was used to store weapons and ammunition and was opened as a prison. In 1560 there was jailed the Calvinist pastor Gian Luigi Pascale, who wrote from his cell to the Waldenses of Calabria, awakened by his preaching mission. After 1630 the slow decline of the castle began, repeatedly dismantled by earthquakes: the one of 1638 ruined the upper floors, the ramparts and towers, that of 1659 broke down the remaining walls. Around the middle of 1700 it was asked in perpetual gift to the king of Naples by the Archbishop of Cosenza Michele Maria Capece Galeota to be adapted to a seminar, with the commitment of restorations that, carried out, distorted the already precarious appearance. Later restored by various archbishops and in 1810 by Joachim Murat, in 1835 it got damaged by the earthquake. By the Bourbon government it was again used as a political prison: after the insurrection of 1844, many patriots were imprisoned there. Undermined by further earthquakes in 1852 and 1854, after the unification of Italy in 1883 it became property of the State Land Administration. In 1883 it was purchased by the City of Cosenza at a public auction. Still damaged by the earthquake of 1905, it was subject, in the course of this century, to various partial restorations. Source: wikipedia