/ / The Castello del Imperatore: photos, description (Castello Dell'imperatore)

The Castello del Imperatore: photos, description (Castello Dell'imperatore)

Castello del Imperatore - castle in the Tuscan city of Prato, also known as Forte di Santa Barbara. It is considered the most important urban architectural monument of the 11th-13th centuries. The main feature of Costello is that it has the appearance of a prominent castle of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and more typical for southern Italy. Its construction began in 1248, the year by order of the Emperor, who had intended to take control of the main trade routes leading from the South Apennine Peninsula in Germany, in particular, the road crossing the valley of Bisenzio, in the heart of Tuscany. Probably, the construction of the castle was carried out by the architect of Puglia, Riccardo da Lentini, but it was built on the site of a more ancient, but small fortifications, presented to the Emperor one of the collections of Prato.

Castello del Imperatore has a square shape with four towers at the corners and four extra remaining from the ancient fortress (it is located in the center of each of the four sides of the castle wall). The walls and towers around the perimeter topped with the typical era of the Ghibellines toothed battlements. The main gate portal with a Gothic arch decorated with alternating bands of white and green marble. It is clearly seen as typical for the castles of Frederick Barbarossa Norman architecture changed under the influence of local traditions. Overall, the castle is a good example of the connection of the military form and function.

The interiors of the Castello del Imperatore not preserved traces of the original structure of the ancient fortress. Probably, the castle was decorated in a classic geometric form with a Central courtyard and four wings. For a long time the castle housed a prison, and it could not affect its appearance and condition. Fortunately, recently undertook a thorough restoration of the Castello del Imperatore, and all the extra buildings and architectural elements have been removed. From the castle through the ancient corridor Il Cassero you can get to the city walls of Prato.