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Castel del Monte-Andria - Italia - S. XI
Price: 77,70 EUR
Manufacturer: Aedes ars
Family: Contruccion in stone
Approximate weight: 10.00 kg - 22.03 lb
Description: Del Monte castle-Andria - Italia - C. XII
Approx. Nº of pieces: 9.300
Difficulty degree: 8.5/10
Sizes (Mm.): 400 x 400 x 210
The Castel del Monte is in the district of Andria, less than 20 km from the town, in the Province of Bari (Puglia), Italy.
It is situated on the summit of a hill at 540 metres altitude, visible from a large part of the Province of Bari.
We do not know whether the construction of the Castel del Monte was completed before the death, in 1250, of its founder, Emperor Frederick II, since the only document conserved dates from 1240: a decree dated the 28th of January 1240 sent by the selfsame Frederick II to Riccardo di Montefuscolo who he ordered to supply construction material for the "castrum" that was being built close to the "Sancta Maria de Monte" (Bendictine abbey and church, today disappeared) near Andria.
In the Castel del Monte the uniqueness of Swabian architecture can be admired, in which one comes across diverse styles: the classicism of the arch that imitates a Roman triumphal arch, Cistercian Gothic style of the structures and decorative elements, and the influence of Romanesque and Arab architecture. Everything blends together in an unrepeatable "unicum".
The richness of the inside of the castle makes it probable that it was only used as an imperial residence.
It has often been remarked, given the lack of defensive elements and the peculiar architectural characteristics, that Castel del Monte was designed as a place for entertainment, where the Emperor could practice falconry and devote himself to observing the stars with his astronomer guests, but it is more likely that it was conceived as a temple for meditation and for the spreading of knowledge, a place to bring together the wise men and neophytes of various religions. Whoever designed this monument wanted to leave a message to posterity, including in it all the knowledge of the era.
During the Angevine dynasty it was turned into a prison and later the venue for magnificent royal weddings.
Granted fiefdom, it was abandoned for centuries, became a refuge for bandits and "quarry" of precious marbles. It was rediscovered in 1900. It blends in magnificently with the surrounding countryside: a stretch of woods as far as the eye can see which in the north has the sea as a background.
The ground plan of the castle, the inner courtyard and the 8 angular towers is octagonal. The palace is an example o fan authentic mathematical study, where the number eight is the basis foe everything, as in a set of symmetries. A cornice runs all around the middle of the outer wall, parking the separation between the two inner floors.
The 16 rooms with a trapezoidal ground plan are covered with French-influenced Gothic groin vaults, and lead to the splendid inner courtyard. The towers are occupied by service centres: for instance, the falconry tower was used as a cage for the birds of prey; the towers contain the stairs and the sanitary services, the cisterns of which rainwater was channelled.
The outer face is in Trani stone with the exception of the arch and the exterior decorative elements which are in Brecha Rosada sandstone. The same stone covered the rooms of the first floor, enriched with mosaics that were sadly stolen.
Its originality, the mystery surrounding its origins and use, give it a "magical" air that leads to a deepening of knowledge beyond traditional schemes. We would like to think of it as one of the summits of human achievement, as a visible synthesis of an imperial power that wanted to last forever and wanted to recreate the marvellous achievements of the Roman Empire by constructing an architecture of light and stone.