Norman Castle, Terlizzi

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The Norman castle of Terlizzi is a Norman castle built in the 11th century.


Terlizzi became a feudal area after the Norman invasion and fell under the control of Giovinazzo in 1073, under the leadership of Norman count Amico, the architect of both cities’ defenses.

Terlizzi’s three-towered fortress, which inspired both the town’s coat of arms and the Latin toponym Turricium, was thus elevated from locus to castellum, and then to civitas in 1133.

Today, only the tower and a few structures outline the castle’s original form; the two towers that were part of the complex, as well as the walls and defences, have vanished.

Norman Castle, Terlizzi, Palazzo de Gemmis
Norman Castle, Terlizzi, Palazzo de Gemmis (source)

At its peak, the castle surpassed the size of Giovinazzo and Molfetta; a castle that hosted Count Amico himself, Frederick II of Swabia, and Ferrante of Aragon, and that served as a hub, a meeting place for the merchants of the area, a crossroads, and an obligatory stop for travelers. The cadet branch of the Barons de Gemmis owned the sumptuous Palace adjacent to the Tower, built on the remains of the Castle, from the second half of the 17th to the first half of the 20th century. Cavaliere Michele de Gemmis (1799-1871), a legal writer, lived in the Palace in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, followed by his son, Cavaliere Tommaso de Gemmis. The palace is now used for housing.

Featured image: wikimedia


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