Loquis: Ceccano Castle

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Ceccano Castle


Published on:  2018-03-12 14:48:00


The entire centre of Ceccano is dominated by the imposing stronghold of the counts of Ceccano. The Castle stands on the top of the hill occupied first by the Acropolis of the Volsci settlement of FabrateriaVetus, and later by the medieval town of Ceccano, which grew up around the site. The Castle's history, and also its layout, falls into three phases: during the first, the Middle Ages, the fortress was at the centre of the extensive dominion of the counts of Ceccano, which stretched to either side of the Lepini mountains. At this time the castle consisted of the keep, the palatium (the residential section) and the turrispicta, or painted turret. The second phase coincides with the ownership of the Colonna family, who succeeded the Ceccanos in 1523.In this era the fortress, which housed the administrative offices that ran the town in the name of the Colonna family, was used as a prison.In 1734 Fabrizio Colonna decided to transfer the State Court of Pofi, with its archives, to Ceccano prison and the chapel of Sant'Angelo. This required an extension to the castle, which acquired a two-storey building for the court and other structures to meet the increasing administrative needs. The third phase, in the late 19th century, was when the Marquis FilippoBerardi seized all the property belonging to the Colonna estate. The castle underwent restoration by architect Antonio Cipolla, who added Neo-Gothic features to the facade, battlements to the terrace above the main body of the building, and towers and mullioned windows on the upper storey, which was turned into residential quarters. The buildings to the right of the courtyard also date from this period. After the prison closed in 1973, the castle stood abandoned for almost thirty years until 1998, when the town council acquired it at public auction.

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