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Nicotera: Norman Castle

  • 89844 Nicotera VV, Italia
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Its history begins in 1065, when Robert Guiscard had it built to have a port in front of Sicily that would allow him and his brother Roger, who resided in Miletus, to quickly reach the island. The two, in fact, were, for five years, at war against the Arabs and the scene of their battle was Sicily. The castle had a short life, in 1074 it was destroyed by the troops of Ibn el Werd, restored by Count Roger the Norman, was still hit in 1085 and 1122 by the Muslim Almoravids of Ibn Maymun. In 1184 perhaps it was destroyed by the earthquake that struck Calabria on June 9. The story of destruction and reconstruction continued in 1284, destroyed by Ruggero di Lauria he revived it, building it once again. But, again, it was destroyed by the many earthquakes that in that period were violent in our area. The present manor, that of our times, the one that dominates over Nicotera and the Marina, represents the last construction, the architectural work begun at the end of the fifteenth century and completed in 1763, built by the Count of Sinopoli, Fulco Antonio Ruffo, Prince of Scylla and Lord of Nicotera, for defensive purposes but, more specifically, as a summer residence of the family. The earthquake and other historical vicissitudes have deprived the beautiful castle of a side tower and part of the facade. It is characterized by only three towers, the fourth was never built, two of them face the Tyrrhenian Sea, and are connected by a terrace that rests on seven arches. At the entrance there is a courtyard from where you can access, through a small door, the underlying part of the manor and, descending a steep staircase, the basement. From the courtyard you have access to the main arched entrance. Climbing the stairs made of grey granite stone you reach the upper floor. The granite and wrought iron furnishings characterize the whole castle, today, if it were not for the two important cultural institutions, abandoned most of the rooms… a real shame!!! Today, è seat of two important cultural institutions: the civic archaeological museum on the ground floor, on the second floor, however, the Center for the study and conservation of civilizationà peasant of the region of the Poro. The castle of Nicotera gave hotel to many famous people such as Pope Urban II in 1091, San Bruno di Colonia, Gioacchino da Fiore, San Ludovico d’Angiò, some Norman sovereigns: Ruggero I, Eremburga, Simone and the’empress Costanza d’Altavilla.

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