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Castle by the sea (Castello a Mare) description and photos - Italy: Palermo (Sicily). Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Castello a Mare.
Photo and description
Castello al Mare - Castle by the Sea - this is one of such sights of Palermo, which few tourists know about, and the locals are in no hurry to tell. In truth, little remains of the castle itself - only the ruins of the entrance gate, part of a huge round tower and traces of the moat. Castello al Mare is located roughly halfway between the Gulf of Cala and the city's main port, at the end of Rue Cavour.
In general, Palermo is famous for its castles and fortified medieval buildings - among the most impressive are Castellacio, Steri, Palazzo dei Normanni, Cizu and Cuba. There are similar fortresses in other regions of Sicily - in Syracuse, Milazzo, Caccamo and Mussomeli. However, it is Castello al Mare that has a very special history. During the years of Arab rule on the island, it was a seaside fortress defending the slave-trading quarter outside the city of Balarm. True, in the battle of 1071, which led to the conquest of Sicily by the Normans, the castle did not take part. In 1081, the Orthodox Church of St. Peter was built next to it, dedicated to Robert Guiscard and his wife Sishelgaite. Today, in Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo, you can see an inscription engraved in stone, perpetuating their patronage over the city.
The Normans significantly expanded Castello al Mare by adding a round tower, quite similar to the tower of Windsor Castle in London. In the 12th century, by order of Frederick II, a defensive moat was dug around the castle, therefore, during the years of Spanish rule in Sicily, Castello al Mare remained the main seaside fortress of Palermo. Unfortunately, numerous local riots during the movement to unite Italy in 1860 and in the following years led to the destruction of most of the castle - the townspeople dismantled its walls in order to build their own houses nearby. What remained of the once formidable fortress was abandoned. Only partially the building has been restored in recent years, but today tourists are rarely allowed here.
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Topic: Castle by the sea (Castello a Mare) description and photos - Italy: Palermo (Sicily).