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Carafa Castle

What to see in Santa Severina, Crotone, Calabria


The Norman Castle of Santa Severina, in Calabria, is also called Carafa Castle or of Roberto il Guiscardo, the Norman king who ordered the construction in the XI century. The imposing structure extends for 10,000 square meters and dominates the wide valley of the Neto river and the hills of the Marquisate of Crotone, near Crotone. It is composed of a square keep and by four cylindrical towers that are located on the sides of the castle is also flanked by four bastions projecting in correspondence of the towers.

The land of Santa Severina has not always had this name. It was originally known as Siberene. Indigenous peoples, probably belonging to the strain of Enotri, were already present since the Bronze Age and the Iron Age and then move on to Greek populations-Italic and Roman subsequently. The area was inhabited also by the Arabs, from 840 to 885/86, becoming a Kastron, a military complex formed also by religious buildings. In the XI century, the Normans, considered barbarians and warriors, greedy for riches and power, came to Italy and were recruited as mercenaries by the lords of the area, to defend the south by the Saracens. The power of the Normans and their knowledge on Italy rose after being at the service of the Lombards and after having fought alongside the Byzantines. Siberene was Byzantine city until 1076, year in which Roberto il Guiscardo, the third son of Tancredi, obtained the investiture of the duchy of Calabria and Puglia, which included the castle. Roberto il Guiscardo ordered the construction of the castle, on the top of a rock, from where he descended the village surrounded by a wall safe and strong. In 1076, moreover, the Guiscardo made build a donjon, which only in recent times have been able to find the remains.

After the Battle of Benevento (1266), the Kingdom of Sicily was conquered by Charles I of Anjou which ordered that Santa Severina and its hamlets were incorporated in the lands of the state property. To the Angevins is attributed to them the merit of modernized the Castle: built the cylindrical towers and the four curtain walls that delimit the donjon, causing the castle, for its architecture mighty, was comparable to one of the most massive strongholds communities of that historical period. In 1444 Santa Severina sees the advent of the dynasty of the Aragons and the power in the hands of Alfonso V of Aragon, said "the magnanimous", which granted many privileges to the city thanks to a real diploma. In the same period he was gaining in trust a young noble, Andrea Carafa, descendent of the Caracciolo. The tyranny of Andrea Carafa was heavy and unbearable; his death befell in 1526 and, for lack of offspring, he was succeeded by the eldest son of his brother, Galeotto Carafa.

With the advent of Andrea Carafa Castle suffered one of the most impressive works of modernization, far superior to that of the Angevins. Carafa made build cinte fortified around the Angevin stronghold, the bulwark of the Belvedere , the construction of "Merli afflicted" crowned and visible on the front of the wallworks of marlature, also present on the banner and son of Galeotto, Andrea, are instead allocated small jobs to completion of the wallworks of marlatura, and Vespasian and his son, the completion of the wall in the portion near the Porta Nuova. With the end of the domain of the Carafa on Santa Severina, the feud passed into the hands of the Royal Court.

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Santa Severina

Santa Severina

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