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Fortifications and castles

Castles

Castle of Venafro
    
The market tower

Castle of Venafro

Sections of cyclopean walls dating back to the Samnite period still exist on mount Santa Croce near Venafro. The layout of the old town copies the division into insulae typical of the Roman period, and numerous remains of the Roman settlement of Venafrum have been preserved. The castle itself was raised on pre-existing pre-Roman structures. The building, which is the result of numerous stratifications, stands at the edge of the town on the hill of SantíAngelo. It seems that before 1000 the structure consisted only of an enceinte and keep. Henry V denied Venafro the use of fortifications. In the Angevin period the castle was adapted to new defence criteria with the construction of circular towers and barbicans and the digging of a large moat  (only a section of which still remains). In 1443, Count Francesco Pandone transformed the military structures into an elegant residence. The life-size frescoes that reproduce, in bas relief, the Countís horses date back to this period. In the early 16th century Enrico Pandone built the loggia that faces the Romanesque church and the Italian-style garden. The stonemasonry features irregular elements set with an abundant use of mortar. The ancient service elements include cisterns and wells, ovens and chimneys, latrines and underground rooms. The military elements are the keep (located uphill from the main building), numerous internal passageways, various kinds of loopholes (arrow slits, crossbow slits and harquebus loopholes) and cannon ports.

Castle of Venafro