Castello di Cly, Aosta Valley

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The castle called of Cly is a castle in Aosta Valley of Italy, in the town of Saint-Denis.

It is a part of the so-called primitive castle style and is made up of a keep and a wall around it. On the brink of a fault line that runs to the Castle of Quart, the ruins emerge from a bed of metamorphic rock. The “chapel sancti Mauricij (Saint Maurice) de castro Cliuo” is referenced in a document from 1207 listing the possessions of the Vicarage of Saint-Gilles in Verrès, but the keep has been dated to 1027 using an examination of the tree rings in its timbers (dendrochronology). Originally a fief held by the Counts of Savoy, the Duchy of Savoy acquired direct ownership in 1376 and installed a castellan to manage it until it was abandoned in 1550. In the centuries that followed, the fortress was reduced to rubble.

Eventually, the crumbling castle was turned over to the neighboring municipality of Saint-Denis. On the hilltop above the town of Chambave, the castle is clearly seen. Only in July and August are guided tours of the castle available. The Aosta Valley is home to over 150 medieval castles, towers, and fortified homes in addition to Cly.

Lithograph of Cly Castle 1860
Lithograph of Cly Castle 1860 (source)

Featured image: wikimedia


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