Mystery castle of the south

The great Emperor Frederick II, known as Stupor Mundi – Wonder of the World, had Castel del Monte built for him in the mid-13th century. The extraordinary fortress sits on a gentle, green hill (not a mountain, as the name suggests) in the National Park of Alta Murgia, about 20 kilometres from Andria in Puglia.

No one is really  sure what the function of this building was meant to be. It is thought that the fortress might have originally been used as an astronomical observatory or as an imposing hunting lodge. Its mysterious octagonal base sets it significantly apart from all the other castles in Puglia.
 
Some say there are mathematical connections as it is built to conform to the mystical 'golden mean'.
 
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Castel del Monte is so much more than a powerful number-freak’s folly. From a distance it stands as a white block, hardly castle-material. In fact, when seen in the distance the eight featureless 24-metre high octagonal towers suggest a more prosaic explanation – wheat silos, for instance.  

Some think the king planned it simply as a lodge, built as a base for grand and gluttonous feasts after hunting forays in the then heavily forested region. Its unusual shape, and the number eight prevailing inside the castle with eight rooms on each of the two storeys is still a puzzle. Controversy continues over the possibility of a mystical or obscure mathematical reason for its precise plan. Maybe astronomy played a part.

Castel del Monte is protected by splendid mythological creatures which adorn the keystones in the inside halls and the coral crushed-stone doorframes.

Certainly the stars were not in the right alignment for a couple of people connected with its building program. One legend suggests that a courtier dispatched by the king to check on the building’s progress became sidetracked on the way, to the extent that he fell in love and postponed his mission. He covered his mistake by sending back a message to Frederick that the castle was a disaster, ‘a total failure’, and blamed the architect. On hearing this malicious tale the hapless, yet innocent designer knowing that his days would be numbered once the king heard it, immediately threw himself from one of the castle towers.

To see for himself how bad it actually was, the king took the courtier with him to the Castel del Monte building site. Instead he found a triumph of architecture. Suitably livid, he ordered a fitting fate for the courtier, who shortly plummeted to his own death, from a tower.

Read more...

 
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

231_15676799571_5105_n

 

 

Www.Foodandtravel.Com.Au - Australia

Best Food Travel Website 2021

 


foodandtravel.com.au has been awarded

Best Antipodean Culinary Travel Expert, 2019

by the prestigious UK-based magazine...

 

 

 

A fantastic 'botanical' winery in NSW that you should not miss seeing.

See all about if HERE–>

 


 

It's worth taking a driving trip through country South Australia...

...winelands, long views, great seafood and more.

Find it HERE>>>

 


 

Where has WA's Great Southern and all the (wild)flowers gone?

You'll find them now permanently HERE...

 


 

If you are wondering where the GREAT IDEAS for Virtual Travel have gone to....

...they are HERE>>>

 


 

Missed seeing Esperance Western Australia ~ and Skylab?

HERE it is....

 


 

Georgia offers another world outside the capital...

Find out about it HERE>>>

 


 

World city options - take note....

...for when you travel again!

 


 

LISTEN TO SALLY'S PODCASTS...

...from all around the world

Tune in and hear her talks on     

Radio 2GB 873AM....

 

 


 

Jigsaws and fishy things...

...Nova Scotia has this and so much more.

 


 

History and beauty with a dash of fun...

...and that's just the beginning of Armenia!

 


 

Zany Zadar & Croatia's north

Crazy and beautiful, a place everyone should visit.

Read more...

 


 

Lovely Lisbon ~ and beyond. Sardines and secrets!

Find out much more here.... 

 


 

Where did cool Colombo go?

It's here!

 


 

Two virtual visits to Ontario

here....

AND

.....here!

 


 

Where is Tbilisi? 

Once you discover its beauty and history, you will be making plans to visit as soon as you can.

Read more....

 


 

Madrid the marvelous - so much to see in Spain's capital.

See it all here....

 


 

If you missed reading about Thailand's organic produce....

Here is the new link....

 


 

Colour comes to Green Summer

See what is happening in Australia's northernmost city this summer....

 


 

Here's something fun to check out!

The world's most popular surnames ....

...by country

 


 

~ Northern Spain ~

mountains and miracles - and much more!

After this journey, many people will never see the world the same way again.

 

Find out why....

 


 

Visit the beautiful heart of

Portugal....

Gondolas, cathedrals, cakes and a palace thrown in for good measure.

See for yourself!

 


 

And how about these vineyards in Georgia?

See other gardens in strange locations here....

 


 

Now this IS unusual! The Golden Bridge near Da Nang in Vietnam

(Photo: psyajh1004)

+++
See  more on this video....

 


 

Australia, the land of long straight roads.

Cross the country with us and see some more of them...

 


 

Make your own food and travel videos? YES YOU CAN!

Gordon Hammond gives some insider tips.....

 


 

Travelling to Sydney? The northern beaches are spectacular.

See what we mean...

 


 

For an exotic travel experience, go glamping in the desert.

Where do you think this is?

 


 

Hungary has something for every traveller.

Especially those who love good food...