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Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte

When the Emperor Frederick II built this castle near Bari in the 13th century, he imbued it with symbolic significance, as reflected in the location, the mathematical and astronomical precision of the layout and the perfectly regular shape. A unique piece of medieval military architecture, Castel del Monte is a successful blend of elements from classical antiquity, the Islamic Orient and north European Cistercian Gothic.

Castel del Monte

L'emplacement de ce château, la rigueur mathématique et astronomique de son plan, la perfection de sa forme manifestent l'ambition symbolique qui animait l'empereur Frédéric II lorsqu'il l'édifia près de Bari, en Italie du Sud, au XIIIe siècle. Exemple unique dans l'architecture militaire médiévale, Castel del Monte est la fusion parfaite de l'Antiquité classique, de l'Orient musulman et du gothique cistercien d'Europe du Nord.

كاستل دِل مونتي

يشكل هذا القصر بموقعه والصرامة الرياضية والفلكية لتصميمه وكمال شكله إشارة إلى الطموح الرمزي الذي كان فريديريك الثاني مفعمًا به عندما شيّده قرب باري في جنوب إيطاليا في القرن الثالث عشر. ويعتبَر كاستِل دِل مونتي وهو المثل الفريد للهندسة المعمارية العسكرية في القرون الوسطى انصهارًا كاملاً بين العصور القديمة الكلاسيكية والشرق المسلم والقوطية السيستيرية لأوروبا الشمالية.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Замок Кастель-дель-Монте

Когда император Фридрих II в XIII в. построил этот замок неподалеку от Бари, он наполнил его символическим значением. Это отразилось в выборе местоположения замка, математических и астрономических расчетах его планировки и абсолютно правильной форме. Кастель-дель-Монте представляет собой уникальный образец средневековой военной архитектуры, в котором удачно сочетаются элементы классической античности, исламского Востока и североевропейской цистерцианской готики.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Castel del Monte

Edificado en siglo XIII por orden del emperador Federico II, al sur de la península italiana, cerca de Bari, este castillo es un ejemplar de la arquitectura militar medieval único en su género. Su emplazamiento, la perfección de sus formas y la precisión matemática y astronómica de su trazado, son exponentes del deseo que movió a este soberano a hacer de él un símbolo de sus ambiciosos designios. Castel del Monte es una muestra perfecta de la fusión de las formas arquitectónicas de la Antigüedad grecorromana, el Oriente musulmán y el gótico cisterciense del norte de Europa.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Castel del Monte

Toen keizer Frederik II van Hohenstaufen dit kasteel in de buurt van Bari bouwde in de 13e eeuw, doordrenkte hij het met symboliek. Dit blijkt uit de locatie, de wiskundige en astronomische precisie van het ontwerp en de perfect regelmatige vorm. Het kasteel ligt 29 kilometer ten zuiden van Barletta in de gemeente Andria, op een rotspunt die het omliggende landschap domineert. Het kasteel is gebouwd in een regelmatige achthoek rond een binnenplaats, met in elke hoek een achthoekige toren. Het gebouw heeft een uniek middeleeuwse militaire architectuur en vormt een geslaagde combinatie van elementen uit de klassieke oudheid, de islamitische Oriënt en Noord-Europese cisterciënzer gotiek.

Source: unesco.nl

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Castel del Monte © UNESCO
Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria (i), (ii) and (iii) considering that the site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world, and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture, reflecting the humanism of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

Long Description

In its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world, and classical antiquity, Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture, reflecting the humanism of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

Frederick succeeded his father, Emperor Henry VI, in 1197 at the age of three. During his reign, which lasted until 1250, he brought order to his unruly kingdom of Sicily, which included much of southern Italy and introduced a period of intense cultural activity known as the 'Southern Renaissance'. He was a man of great culture, at home in several languages, with high attainments in mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences; he brought scholars and artists from the Arab lands, Greece, and elsewhere to his court, had the works of Aristotle, Averroës, Ptolemy and Galen translated into Latin, and founded the University of Naples. His many talents earned him the title of Stupor Mundi (Wonder of the World).

He was also an able ruler, who bought social and economic stability to his people. However, his policy in Italy, unlike that in Germany, where he encouraged the feudal system, was that of an absolute monarch. For this reason, and also for defensive purposes, he built a number of strong castles in his lands of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, the largest and most influential of which was Castel del Monte. It was finished in 1240 and became the permanent seat of his court. With his death in 1250 the Hohenstaufen hold over the kingdom was weakened, and the Angevin dynasty ruled until the mid-15th century. Castel del Monte, no longer the seat of power, like most castles from this period, served as a stronghold and then a barracks until the 19th century, and slowly losing its resplendent decoration through pillage, vandalism and neglect.

The castle is sited 29 km south of Barletta in the Commune of Andria on a rocky peak that dominates the surrounding countryside. Its plan is in the form of a regular octagon surrounding a courtyard and with a tower, also octagonal, at each angle. The walls are built from huge dressed blocks of a brilliant quartz-bearing limestone. There is a cornice at mid-height which encircles the walls, separating the two internal storeys. Each of the storeys has eight chambers of equal size, corresponding with the eight sides of the structure. The trapezoidal rooms on the lower storey have prominently ribbed ogival vaulting, supported on embedded columns. Those on the upper storey correspond exactly with those below but are more elaborately ornamented, the vaulting being supported on caryatid capitals in the Burgundian or Champagne style which surmount triple columns in Greek marble; the apex of the vaulting is decorated with a unique capital, also in Burgundian style. Each of the rooms has a marble bench at the base of the columns and a decorative marble cornice. Of special interest is the unique hydraulic installation for bath and toilet facilities, clearly oriental in origin.

Each of the facades is pierced by two windows, those on the lower level being single-arched openings (except on those sides with the front and rear entrances) and those on the upper level being twin ogival openings. The octagonal towers have only narrow arrow slits, arranged so as to command the best field of view. Internally they contain service rooms and staircases. The main entrance, in coralline breccia, reproduces the form of a classical triumphal arch framing a pointed arch, described by one eminent scholar as being 'a sort of prelude to the Renaissance'. Elements such as these are blended with complete success throughout the building with features that owe their origins to the east, such as the use of marble and mosaic, much of which have disappeared over centuries of neglect and vandalism.

Castel del Monte is of special interest because of the absence of features that are common to the overwhelming majority of military monuments of this period (outer bailey, moat, stables, kitchen, storerooms, chapel), the mathematical and astronomical rigour of its plan and form, and the eclecticism of its cultural elements, deriving from antiquity, the Cistercian tradition of northern Europe, and the Ummayyad 'desert castles' and fortified monasteries in the Near East and North Africa.