Associazione Turistica Pro Loco Andria
Via Vespucci, 114
70031 ANDRIA (BA)
Tel. +39 0883-592283
e-mail: direttivo@proloco.andria.ba.it

 

 

 

CASTEL DEL MONTE

 

History
How to reach
Timetables
Tickets

 

Castel del Monte (Italian: Castle of the Mount) is a 13th century castle situated in the Apulia region of southeast Italy, in the town of Andria, near to Bari.

It was built by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II some time between 1240 and 1250; it has been despoiled of its interior marbles and furnishings in subsequent centuries. It has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and may in fact never have been intended as a defensive fortress.

HISTORY

Among the Federician castles in Puglia, Castel del Monte is a nonpareil. Found on a hill, which is 540 metres high, the castle can be reached by following the S.S. 170. Almost surely the intention of building the castle was matured after the Frederic It's return from the Fourth Crusade (1229) and by proof of faithfulness and obedience by the population of Andria towards the Emperor.

In 1240 Frederic II sent a decree to Richard of Montefuscolo, the governer of Capitanata, ordering him to prepare the necessary materials to construct a castle next to the Saint Mary's Benediction Abbey of Monte Balneolo; The construction of the castle lasted for such a long period (until 1250, the year that Frederick died) that it is assumed that the emperor never even stayed there once. By the sources it's well known that in 1249 the castle was a theatre used to celebrate Violante's wedding, Frederic's natural daughter, and that in 1256 Manfredi used the Castle to imprison rebel subjects.

After the Swabia's defeat in Benevento (1266) and Manfredi's death, Charles I of Angio locked up Manfredi's sons here: Frederic, Enric and Enzo. The building was in the Del Balzo's possession, Lords of Andria, until the end of the XV century. In 1495, Ferdinand of Aragon stayed here, before being crowned as King of the two Sicilies in Barletta. Castel del Monte belonged to Consalvo from Cordova and, in 1552, to the Carafas, Counts of Ruvo and Dukes of Andria.
During the terrible epidemic plague that struck the city in 1656 many representatives of nobility took refuge here.

Remaining from the XVIII century and stripped of marbles, sculptures and furnishings, the castle became a refuge for shepherds and bandits. Only in 1876 the castle was bought by the State, which provided for its first restorations. In the 20s, there were further interventions; although last restorations go back to the 80s.
In 1995 the castle was placed by the UNESCO on the list of the monuments considered part of the Universal Heritage of Humanity.

Castel del Monte recalls the strenuous realization only in the outside, and it seems to have been designed by Frederic himself and constructed not only by local workforces, but even by Saracen and Nordic chisel experts and craftsmen. Because of the tack of a moat, drawbridge, and defence works in general, the theory of the castle having been built with a defensive function can be excluded. Castel del Monte stands as a solemn and harmonious building with an octagonal plan.

With eight towers in the same form corresponding with the corners, it was appointed to be a hunting residence or a place for learned conversations about mathematics and astronomy. It is considered a sacred and mysterious building by some people, a symbol of Swabian strength by others, the Imperial diadem that stands out against the clear and blue sky of Puglia. Among the distinctive characteristics of the castle are its overall shape, and its sixteen rooms in trapezium form positioned on two floors, which are connected by stairs placed in the towers.

Elements in Roman, Arab, Norman and Gothic style melt here in perfect way. In close relationship with Castel del Monte they are in Andria the St. Andrew's gate with Frederick's arch which was built to remember the fidelity and loyalty of the city of Andria towards the Emperor in 1229 in which it is written: "Andria fidelis, nostris affixa medullis" and the graves of Frederick's two wives, Jolanda of Brienne and Isabel of England in Andria Cathedral's crypt.

FREDERICK II OF SVEVIA

Statesman, diplomat, builder of castles and founder of Universities, Frederic II of Hohenstaufen led the Empire for thirty years. Posessing a multifaceted and versatile personality, he was one of the most important figures of his time. The "world wonder" was bom in Jesi on December 26 , 1194 to Constance of Altavilla and Henry VI of Hohenstaufen (son of Frederick I or "Redbeard").

In 1197 he became fatherless, and his mother Costanza led the Kingdom of Sicily; The following year she also died, and through her will she entrusted her little son to the protection of Pope Innocent III. In 1208 Frederic, who had come of age, married Constance of Aragon, and from this marriage came his firstborn, Henry VII. In 1212 Frederic defeated Otto of Brunswick and in 1215 he went to Aachen, where he was crowned as King of Germany; on the 22th of November in 1220, he was crowned Emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire in Rome. He then returned to Sicily, where he dedicated his efforts to the reorganisation of the kingdom; amongst other affairs he built a new royal Palace in Foggia and he founded a scientific University in Naples.

In 1225 Frederic married Yolande of Brienne, John's daughter, heir of the kingship of Jerusalem. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX, threatening excommunication, forced the Emperor to go on crusade; Embarked from Brindisi, the army was forced to come back because of an epidemic that had spread and Frederic was excommunicated. In 1228, his son Conrad was born in Andria; Yolande, dead a few days after the child's birth, was buried in the crypt of the city's cathedral. Frederic left again for the Holy Land where he drew up a treaty with the Sultan Al-Kamil, obtaining Jerusalem peacefully and he crowned himself as King. In 1230 Frederic re-conquered Southern Italy, by invading it with the help of the Pope and he was released from the excommunication; The next year Frederic promulgated the Constitutions of Melfi and he removed, as King of Germany, his son Henry, who had claimed the crown for himself, rebelling from his father.

In 1235 Frederic married Isabel of England (who died in 1241 in Foggia and was also buried in the cathedral of Andria).In 1246 his very loved Bianca Lancia was dead, but from this marriage-ihe favourite son Manfredi was born. Four years later, on the 13 of December in 1250, even the Emperor dird in Castel Fiorentino, next to Foggia. His corpse rests in the Cathedral of Palermo, near his parents and his first wife, in a majestic sarcophagus in red porphyry, that he himself brought from Cefalu.

Texts: Pro Loco - Andria
Translation: Francesca Tota

 



[Last update: 01.04.2014]

You can reach the castle by car, following the S.S. 170 road from Andria.
The castle is about 18 kms far from Andria.
Click here to see the map.

You can reach Andria from Bari by train, with the regional railway called the Ferrovie Nord Barese (Bari-Barletta Line). The railway station in Bari is near the main FS station in Piazza Aldo Moro.

Please click here to see the PDF document with the timetables, valid from 22.12.2008 (in Italian).
Pay attention because some trains are limited to Ruvo (not arriving in Andria), so you have to take only trains with final destination Barletta.
The trip to Andria takes an hour. You have to validate your ticket in a machine before boarding. The fare for one-way trip from Bari Centrale to Andria is € 3.40.


The town of Andria is linked to Castel del Monte with the urban bus line n. 6, working only from 1st April to 31st October.

The minibus starts just outside the small railway station in the square called Piazza Bersaglieri d'Italia. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
Click here to see the location of the railway station in Andria.

 



Timetables: [Last update: 01.04.2014 - 01.11.2014]

Departures from Andria Railway Station (Stazione Bari Nord) to Castel del Monte:

Ipercoop Uffici ASL  
08.30
10.00
11.30
14,30
15.30
Via Barletta              
Stazione Bari Nord
Andria Railway Station
Piazza Bersaglieri d'Italia
08.40
10.10
11.40
14.40
15.40
Viale Venezia Giulia              
Viale Istria              
Via Montegrappa              
Via Verdi              
Via Puccini              
Via Togliatti              
Via Castel del Monte              
Park Hotel              
Castel del Monte
09.15
10.45
12.10
15,00
16.15


Departures from Castel del Monte to Andria Railway Station (Stazione Bari Nord):

Castel del Monte  
10.45
12.15
15.00
16.15
19.45
Park Hotel                
via Castel del Monte               
Via Togliatti                
Via Puccini                
Via Verdi                
Via Bisceglie                
Via Asiago                
Via Milite Ignoto                
Via Vaccina                
Stazione Bari Nord
Andria Railway Station
Piazza Bersaglieri d'Italia
 
11.20
12.50
15.30
16.55
20.15
Viale Venezia Giulia                
via Barletta                
Ipercoop uffici ASL  
11.30
13.00
15.45
16.50
20.30

 

Timetables: [Last update: 01.04.2014 - 01.11.2014]

Departures from Andria Railway Station (Stazione Bari Nord) to Castel del Monte:

Ipercoop Uffici ASL  
08.30
13,30
Via Barletta              
Stazione Bari Nord
Andria Railway Station
Piazza Bersaglieri d'Italia
08.40
13.35
Viale Venezia Giulia              
Viale Istria              
Via Montegrappa              
Via Verdi              
Via Puccini              
Via Togliatti              
Via Castel del Monte              
Park Hotel              
Castel del Monte
09.15
14,00


Departures from Castel del Monte to Andria Railway Station (Stazione Bari Nord):

Castel del Monte  
14.00
19.45
Park Hotel                
via Castel del Monte                
Via Togliatti                
Via Puccini                
Via Verdi                
Via Bisceglie                
Via Asiago                
Via Milite Ignoto                
Via Vaccina                
Stazione Bari Nord
Andria Railway Station
Piazza Bersaglieri d'Italia
 
14.30
20.15
Viale Venezia Giulia                
via Barletta                
Ipercoop uffici ASL  
14.45
20.30

Opening hours of the castle:

From 1st March to 30th September: from 10.15 to 19.45
From 1st October to 28th February: from 9.15 to 18.45

The ticket office closes half an hour in advance.

 

Full price: € 5,00
Reduced price: € 2,50 for people between the ages of 18 and 25.
Free Entrance to people under 18 and over 65 years of age.

GUIDED TOURS: contact us at +39 0883 592283.

 

Pro Loco Andria is a volunteer association with a private nature and non profit aim whose only interest is to promote the public social activity and the public interest.

 

 



 

 

   

Proverbio andriese del giorno:

 

Nuova cartografia di Andria








 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

..:: Associazione Turistica Pro Loco - Via Vespucci, 114 - 70031 Andria (BA) - 2009 ::..
Riproduzione, anche parziale, vietata, salvo espressa autorizzazione e con indicazione della fonte.