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Castel del Monte

In Puglia, 60 Km from Bari, and more precisely in the territory of Andria, lies a mysterious castle, rich in meaning and esoteric symbols: Castel del Monte, conceived by "Stupor Mundi" Frederick II in the 13th century.
Castel del Monte
The structure of this isolated fortress in Western Murgia testifies to the love of Frederick II for astronomy, geometry and mathematics and is a true synthesis of different cultures: Gothic sculptures, the classical world, and Romanesque architecture, as well as an anticipation of Renaissance elements. Its "magical" number is 8, a metaphor for infinity, but also in nature the mediation between earth (a square) and heaven (circle). The number eight, a quadruplet peace sign and a sign of resurrection, is a common symbol in baptism, as can be seen in the octagonal baptistery introduced by the bishop of Milan, Ambrose, to emphasize in the ceremony of baptism the union of the infinite God with finite man.

Other octagonal geometries are found in the Mosque of Omar, or Dome of the Rock, seen by Frederick II during his visit to Jerusalem, the octagonal chapel of Aachen where Frederick was crowned emperor, the church of the Temple built in London in 1160.

Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte hides many secrets, but the only message visible to everybody is its geometry. The plan is octagonal, surrounded by eight octagonal towers, with eight rooms on the lower floor and as many upstairs, an octagonal courtyard in the center of which there was an octagonal pool.

The number returns many times in the Castle: 8 four-petal flowers on the right frame and as many on the left frame of the gable on the portal; 8 leaves on the capitals of all the columns of the ground floor and the first floor, 8 leaves on the keystone, 8 petals in the flower of the keystone, 8 vine leaves on the keystone of the first room on the ground floor, 8 sunflower leaves on the keystone of the fourth room, 8 leaves and 8 petals on the keystone to the fifth room, and so on.

The video is a creation of the portal of the Italian tourism ministry Italia.it [You Tube channel: JoinItaly].

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0:05
C'è un castello nei pressi di Andria, a 60 km da Bari, che sembra non avere alcun rapporto con il resto del mondo, tanto che appare inconcepibile oggi il suo isolamento, splendido e incontrastato, su una collina delle Murge occidentali.
There is a castle near Andria, 60 km from Bari, that seems to have no relationship with the rest of the world, so much so that its isolation appears inconceivable today, splendid and unchallenged, on a hill west of the Murgia.
0:20
Di sicuro però quel castello, a forma ottagonale, pretendeva di essere al centro del mondo nel XIII secolo, quando fu concepito da Federico II, il mitico imperatore svevo che, per una cultura che oggi definiremmo cosmopolita, e la grandiosità dei disegni di potere, è passato alla storia come "Stupor Mundi", l'uomo che stupì il mondo.
For sure, however, that octagonal castle claimed to be the center of the world in the 13th century, when it was designed by Frederick II, the legendary Swabian emperor, who for his culture that today we would call cosmopolitan, and the grandeur of his political plan, is known to history as "Stupor Mundi", the man who made the world wonder in awe.
0:49
E a Castel del Monte lo stupore si trasforma in mistero, perché tutto qui è significato e simbolo, che forse non verranno mai svelati.
And in Castel del Monte amazement turns into mystery, because everything here is meanings and symbols that perhaps will never be revealed.
1:00
Castel del Monte è il castello più celebre della Puglia e dell'Italia meridionale, ma è anche Patrimonio dell'Umanità.
Castel del Monte is the most famous castle in Apulia and in southern Italy, but it is also a World Heritage Site.
1:10
Federico II amava l'astronomia, la geometria, la matematica, era un personaggio estremamente aperto alle più varie forme di cultura. L'ha voluto ricco di sculture gotiche, modernissime per quel tempo, ma ci sono anche elementi che si richiamano al mondo classico, e comunque risente anche degli influssi romanici, nei due leoni che erano quasi custodi del portale d'ingresso, ma anticipa anche degli elementi rinascimentali. Quindi un castello che è appunto una sintesi di culture diverse.
Frederick II loved astronomy, geometry, mathematics, he was a character very open to many different forms of culture. He wanted it rich in Gothic sculptures, very modern for that time, but there are also elements that recall the classical world, and in any case it also reflects Romanesque influences, with the two lions that were almost keepers of the entrance door, but anticipates Renaissance elements as well. Therefore, a castle that is truly a summary of different cultures.
1:55
L'abbiamo detto, l'esoterismo è una delle chiavi di lettura di questo castello. I secoli ce lo riconsegnano spoglio e severo, privo degli arredi e delle decorazioni marmoree del tempo, di cui ci restano tracce labili, su cui si inerpicano le interpretazioni più varie.
As we said, esotericism is one of the keys to understanding this castle. The centuries gave it to us bare and austere, devoid of the furnishings and marble decorations of its time, of which only feeble traces remain, on which wildest interpretations are made.
2:20
Tra le varie finestre che illuminano le sale del castello, otto a piano terra ed altrettante al piano superiore, quindi un'ulteriore insistenza sul numero otto, c'è questa finestra a forma di trifora, l'unica, posta a nord, che consente un'ampia visuale sul territorio di Andria.
Among the various windows that give light to the rooms of the castle, eight on the ground floor and as many on the top floor, - therefore a further insistence on the number eight - there is this three-light window, the only one, to the north, which offers a wide view on the territory of Andria.
2:42
Ad un viaggiatore che decide di raggiungere Andria, la città emergerà come "Andria fidelis", come l'iscrizione latina che è riportata nel transetto dell'Arco di Federico II di Svevia - la tradizione vuole che quell'iscrizione sia del 1230, dettata da Federico II di Svevia, che di ritorno da una Crociata,
For a traveler who decides to reach Andria, the town will emerge as "Andria Fidelis", as in the Latin inscription which is reported in the transept of the Arch of Frederick II of Swabia - tradition has it that the inscription dates back to 1230, dictated by Frederick II of Swabia, who returning from a Crusade,
3:10
soltanto Andria e pochissime città di questa parte della Puglia non gli si rivoltò contro e quindi a conferma di quest'amore, di questa fedeltà, dettò questa iscrizione "Andria, fedele fino al midollo delle ossa".
only Andria and very few towns in this part of Puglia had not turned against him and then to confirm this love, this loyalty, he dictated this inscription "Andria, faithful to the bone marrow."
3:30
E al viaggiatore che volesse proseguire, suggeriamo un'altra tappa di eguale, specialissimo legame con la città di Federico II di Svevia, la Cattedrale con la sua cripta. Qui sono conservate le spoglie di due delle sue tre mogli, Iolanda di Brienne e Isabella d'Inghilterra.
And to the traveler who would like to continue, we suggest another stage of similar, very special relationship with the town of Frederick II of Swabia, the Cathedral with its crypt. Here are the remains of two of his three wives, Yolanda of Brienne and Isabella of England.
4:05
La storia di Federico II di Svevia è indissolubilmente legata a quella della città e viceversa.
The story of Frederick II of Swabia is inextricably linked to that of the town and vice versa.