The Maniace Castle


Il castello maniace

 (the name derived from the Byzantine Commander Giorgio Maniace) is one of the most important monuments of the Suevian period in Syracuse and one of the most beautiful ‘federiciani’ castles. In the site where the castle lays, there are fortifications which have almost certainly existed since the time of the Greeks in what was strategically important for the defence of the Porto Grande. In 1038 Commander Maniace promoted the restoration as a defence of the port of Ortigia during his military campaign. A few years later the Arabs repossessed Syracuse and the manor house up until 1087 when they were defeated and driven away by the Normans.

However, there aren’t obvious traces of such construction prior to the original layout of the Maniace castle due to emperor Frederick II of Swabia, who, shortly after his return from the crusade in the Holy Land, entrusted the architect Riccardo da Lentini with the reconstruction, between 1232 and 1239. Architectural similarity is evidence that some other “federiciani” castles in Sicily and southern parts of Italy were built in the same period. Passed down to the Angevins in 1266 it was attacked and conquered by the Syracuse population in 1282. In 1302, Frederick of Aragon signed the armistice with the Angevins.

The castle has a mighty quadrilateral structure; 51 meters per side and about 12m high. To the four corners of the castle are four cylindrical towers incorporated harmoniously into the masonry. Observing its beauty at dawn or sunset, is a truly indescribable spectacle.


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Post Written By Daniele Valvo

Laureato in ingegneria elettrica presso l'Università di Catania, ho scelto con forza di non emigrare perchè legato alla mia Sicilia. Forte dei miei studi scientifici e desideroso di aiutare gli altri nel loro di percorso di vita, utilizzando il metodo Mindfulness, maieutica socratica, l'approccio scoutistico, stimolo l'energia interiore delle persone con attività d'introspezione in Natura. Con la mia ditta Siracua Tour costruisco anche applicazioni per la fruizione dei Beni Culturali del territorio ibleo, e effettuo progetti nelle scuole e per ultimo insegno Informatica presso i corsi di formazione.

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