Castel del Monte
Symbol of harmonious blend of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity, Castel del Monte, a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996 . The Castle, dating back to the thirteenth century (the first document available to us for a dating refers to the year 1240), was commissioned by Frederick II of Swabia , ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. For a long time its intended use has been discussed: the term castrum, in fact, refers directly to a defensive function, but the presence of some accessory structures and the refinement of the sculptural repertoire have also led to the hypothesis of a residential and representative reality. on a rocky bank, the Castle is known for its octagonal shape . Eight towers in local limestone are grafted onto each of the corners. The courtyard , also octagonal in shape, is characterized by the chromatic contrast obtained thanks to the use of coral breccia, limestone and marble. In the sixteen trapezoidal-shaped rooms , eight on each floor, the keystones of the cruises are characteristic, each decorated with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and phytomorphic elements. Local writers and historians, between the end of the 18th century and the following first century, describe a rich decorative apparatus characterized by mosaic tiles, majolica tiles, glass pastes and wall paintings. To this day, the two anthropomorphic shelves in the Falconiere Tower, the telamons that support the umbrella vault of one of the scalar towers and a fragment of the floor mosaic in the eighth room on the ground floor are still present.