The Swabian castle is one of the most beautiful places that Calabria could offer us. Historic, it is a place full of beauty and that will delight even the most demanding tourist! So, let’s do it! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
A little bit of Castle History
In the spectacular old town, on one of the seven hills on which the city was built, the Swabian Castle was the symbol of the power of the city in the middle Ages and dominates, the same, from the Mount Pancrazio. For lack of documentary sources, it is not certain that the place where the Castle is exactly what was once occupied by the Bretia Fortress, but there is no doubt that the Cosentini built it in 937 AD, steady, on top of it hill. With the rectangular plan, the fortress is delimited by four corner towers: two square and two octagonal towers, the latter is of the Swabian age. It is often called Norman because, in the twelfth century, Ruggiero II enlarged the Castle giving it the appearance of contemporary constructions. During this period, the Castle also hosted the Curia. The earthquake of 1184, the first of a long series, destroyed the fortress, rendering it unusable. Why visit Cosenza in Calabria?
A new era!
Only with the arrival of Frederick II of Swabia (13th century) the Castle returned to its former glory, assuming an important defensive function. It was the same swabs that expanded the fortress making them assume the typical configuration of Frederick’s castles, placing a rectangular plan; corner towers and walkways surrounded by battlements and vaulted halls. The Swabian brand was strong enough to be the first in order of time, but ‘visible’ to the present day. What is striking, of course, typical of Swabia is the very plan in the Castle, rectangular with four angular towers, of which two squares, to the North, and octagonal, to the South.
Swabians are the North towers known as reception hall, which retain the Cistercian Gothic origin, favored by the Swabians, and which manifest themselves in their essential characteristics, such as simplicity of forms, reduced verticality and the force of mass on the wall. Another typically Swabian element is the theory of the six rooms of the East; the arsenal room is the first of which is preserved in good condition. There are also southerly rooms, to the south, defined as the throne room, which is accessed through a portal that, today, is walled and well preserved so that you can still see the holes for accommodation on the beam that closed the portal. How to find Calabrian Relatives?
The arched portal, which leads into the interior, is covered by a shield from the Aragonese period. The entrance hall is covered by ogives (pointed archs) with carved corbels that support the prismatic reinforcements. A wide corridor that is known as the ‘centaurea corridor’, the coat of arms of Anjou, contains these same flowers, engraved in ribbed arches of Swabia.
In the open courtyard, the largest environment of all construction, are located the remains of different ages and different dominations. The interior of the thirteenth-century octagon, the only remaining tower, consists of narrow spaces between the walls of the battlements: one large and two smaller, with a tapered aperture.
The history of the Castle was lost throughout the 1600s, which was again damaged by numerous earthquakes, falling completely in ruins. It was taken over by the Bourbons who used it as a prison and, after the unification of Italy, finally passed to the city of Cosenza, which bought it at a public auction.
After the restoration of the last years, the Castle presents several well-preserved parts, such as the octagonal tower of the Swabian period, the emblems of Anjou engraved in ribbed Swabian arches flowing in the aisle of the centaurea, the Aragonese shield, the secrets and the inner courtyard. A final restoration work, on the structure, was completed in 2015, making the Castle able to be visited by bus by tourists in order to reach the Castle at the top of the hill and make it more useful and accessible to citizens and tourists. From the Castle you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the city below, the Crater valley and the slopes of Sila.
The Castle opens to the public every day at the following times: from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; the closing day is Monday. The Cafeteria, the Bookstore and the Castle Shop have free entry, regardless of the activity. The purchase of the ticket to the Castle, regular and half entrance and the release of free tickets can be acquired in the restaurant/bookstore, making the request to the employees. The cost of admission is 4 euros, the half entrance costs 2 euros.
How to get there?
Getting to Cosenza is easy by any means of transportation and from anywhere, where you arrive quickly, with all convenience for all tourist destinations in the province.
1) How to get there? BY PLANE
Lamezia Terme Airport International Airport is about 70 km from the city, where 60 of them are by express way. At the airport there are bus services that take you to the city of Cosenza. There is also a micro bus service, under reservation (telephone: +39 0984 8830894 – www.al-volo.net).
2) How to get there? BY TRAIN
From Cosenza station it is possible to reach the downtown by taxi in minutes, or by bus with the lines numbers 15 – 16 – 17 – 27.
3) How to get there? BY CAR
By the A3 highway, Salerno – Reggio Calabria, take the exit for Cosenza. Follow the signs to the old town.
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).
The Manor (Castle) Norman Swabian is certainly the emblem of the local memory and is among the most beautiful and precious of southern Italy, definitely worth visiting.
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