/ / Castle by the sea: photo description (Castello a Mare)

Castle by the sea: photo description (Castello a Mare)

Castello al Mare (Castle by the sea is one of the attractions of Palermo, which is known to few tourists, and the locals are in no hurry to tell. In truth, from the castle little remains - only the ruins of the entrance gate, part of a huge round tower and traces of a moat. Castello al Mare is situated approximately in the middle of the way between the Bay of Cala and the main port city, at the end of the street Cavour.

Actually, Palermo is famous for its castles and fortified medieval buildings among the most imposing you can call Castellacio, Sterile, Palazzo dei Normanni, the Zisa and Cuba. There is a similar fortress and in other regions of Sicily, in Siracusa, Milazzo, Caccamo and Mussomeli. However, it was Castello al Mare has a very special history. In the years of Arab domination on the island it was the seaside fortress, which defended the slave quarter outside the city Balarm. However, in the battle of 1071, led to the conquest of Sicily by the Normans, the castle did not participate. In 1081, the year it was built Orthodox Church of St. Peter, dedicated to Robert Guiscardo and his wife, Sichelgaita. Today in the Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo can be seen engraved on the stone inscription commemorating their patronage over the city.

The Normans greatly expanded Castello al Mare, with the addition of a round tower, quite similar to tower of Windsor Castle in London. In the 12th century by Frederick II around the castle had dug a defensive ditch, so the years of Spanish rule in Sicily Castello al Mare remained the main seaside fortress of Palermo. Unfortunately, many local riots during the movement for the unification of Italy in 1860 and in subsequent years led to the destruction of the greater part of the castle, the townspeople dismantled its walls to build their own houses nearby. What remained of the once formidable fortress was abandoned. Only part of the building was restored in recent years, but today here is rarely allowed visitors.