The Castle

The castle of Salemi is the best preserved in the Sicilian territory. Inside are housed the library and the museum of the Risorgimento (Resurgence). The will of Ruggero the Norman The castle has Norman origins and dominates the town with its trapezoidal shape and square corner towers, about 20 feet high, supported by a cylindrical tower that reaches a height of about 30 metres occupying one side of Alcea square. Connected to the structure were some wall buildings that were part of the medieval city wall circuit in which the “Ghibli door “, now disappeared, opened up. Its origins are attributed to Ruggero the Norman, who would have built it in order to be able to control transit routes, yet it is probable that a fortified structure of Byzantine or Islamic age existed. In 1239 Frederick II built the cylindrical great tower where he stayed, but probably the vaults were implemented during the reign of Manfredi. The Arab hidden soul Interesting for its dating is the incision ICNCRI (Iesus Cristus Nazarenus Crocifixus Rex Iudeorum) on the facade of the architrave of the cylindrical tower little window, which places the building of the castle after the subjugation of the Arabs by the Normans in 1070. The Arabic stylistic characters of the building make still believe that the Normans made use of Moorish craftsmen for the construction of the castle.  The footprint of the Federico II The pointed arch, the thick walls, the rather smooth and symmetrical plant, the cross vaults with sculpted keys, the mingling geometric of the polygon-circle (in this case octagon-circle) are all elements that characterize the Frederician castles of Sicily. The multiple destinies of the castle Over the centuries, the castle of Salemi has been used for the most diverse purposes: as a real impregnable citadel (XII-XVI century), as a simple point of observation and spotting (XV-XVI century), as straw storage (XVII -XIX c.) and as the town library (1934-1968). SOURCE: