Il Castello

Her Majesty Leaning against the Pollino chain sloping gently toward the Ionian Sea, the majestic castle of Orion lies. With its square plan and towers in Norman style, it overlooks the town as if to protect it from enemy hands. The origin of this construction is uncertain but it may be placed in the period before 1200 because in 1221 it was already owned by Frederick II of Swabia. Frederick II grants the great forest Bears the signature of the Emperor, in fact, the act of April 24th, 1221 by which Frederick II donated to the Cistercian convent of St. Maria del Sagittario “a great forest” in the territory of Oriolo. And this is where the castle-feudal fortress is located, one of the most important structures, perfectly preserved, of the entire system of watchtowers and castles on the Ionian coast. The first Norman-Swabian plant was trapezoidal, winding around the square tower; it consisted of the military floor, the main noble floor and the floor of the servants. The fall of the Swabians At the fall of the Swabian dynasty, the castle came under the rule of Charles of Anjou; it was later owned by an heir of the Ruffo-Sanseverino branch. Between the fourteenth and the seventeenth century, the castle passed alternately from the possessions of the lords of Oriolo to the possessions of the crown. In 1528 the building was sold to the Marquis Marcello Pignone, the Pignone family owned it until 1899, when it was bought by the Soria family who wielded rights until 1977, when the castle was bought by the City of Oriolo which made it a national monument.