/ / The Castello Sant Aniceto: photos, description (Castello Sant ' Aniceto)

The Castello Sant Aniceto: photos, description (Castello Sant ' Aniceto)

The Byzantine castle, Castello Sant Aniceto, also known as San Niceto, was built in the 11th century on a hill in the small town of Motta San Giovanni in the province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region of Calabria. The town lies 130 km southwest from the regional capital of Catanzaro and 13 km South-East of its largest city, Reggio di Calabria.

Castello Sant Aniceto is one of the most outstanding examples of Byzantine-Norman architecture of the late middle ages in Calabria and one of the most well-preserved Byzantine FORTS in the world. Its name comes from the name of the Saint of Nicetas, a Byzantine Admiral who lived in the 7-8 th centuries. The castle was built as a refuge and a kind of guard tower at a time when the coasts of Calabria and Sicily constantly ravaged the warlike Saracens. After the Norman conquest of southern Italy, the building was expanded, and it was attached to some rectangular towers. In the 13th century, the castle became the main centre of a prosperous feudal estates San Aniceto, which included the village of Motta San Giovanni and Montebello. And two centuries later, during the conflict with Reggio di Calabria, it was destroyed on the orders of Alfonso of Calabria.

Preserved to us the structure has an irregular shape, which resembles a ship, with the nose facing the mountains, and the stern, looking out at the sea. Near the entrance are preserved the two square towers. At the foot of the short but steep path leading to the plain below, stands a small Church whose dome is frescoed with the image of Christ Pantocrator is a typical subject of Byzantine art. The height of the castle walls varies from 3 to 3.5 meters, and the thickness reaches one meter.

Another attraction of Motta San Giovanni is the lighthouse of Capo delle Armi. He stands on the homonymous Cape and is a strategically important object for the ships entering the Strait of Messina from the South. The lighthouse was built in 1867, the year and upgraded a hundred years later. It consists of a white signal tower, located on an octagonal brick building two stories tall.