The Castle of Conversano

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Conversano Castle is a medieval castle in Conversano, Apulia, southern Italy.

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Since Norman times, the Counts of Conversano have called the castle home for approximately seven centuries. Though his tale is considerably older, there was undoubtedly already a defensive structure there during the Gothic War (535–554) that included a portion of the megalithic walls of the ancient Norba city.

The construction of a new castle on top of the former’s ruins was mandated by the first Norman feudal rulers in the 11th century. The original Norman core is still there today in the Torre Maestra, a square-base tower, where a fresco of the saints Cosmas and Damian may be seen on the vaulted entry.

Conversano castle (source)

Later, significant expansion projects were undertaken, among them by the Counts of Luxembourg (14th century), who encouraged the construction of a tall, round tower to the north, directly where the acropolis’ crest steepened. From an engineering standpoint, the Acquaviva constructed a twelve-sided tower base around 1460 that is squat and has walls resembling embankments. Inside, there is a round tank with a corridor surrounding it that is fitted with drains, which are necessary to defend the city.

Conversano, Castello Acquaviva (source)

The house, which was progressively losing its manor character, underwent additional alteration in the succeeding decades to become a magnificent mansion that would fit the stature of the wealthy feudal lords. The current entrance can be found along the Piazza Conciliazione wall, which was constructed in 1710 at Countess Dorotea Acquaviva’s request. It is possible to enter a courtyard, which then gives access to the porch from the late Renaissance. Up until the late 19th century, additional building complex construction was done one after the other.

Featured image: wikimedia

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