World Heritage Photos

Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte is situated on an isolated hill in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. Castel del Monte (Castle upon the Mountain) was built by the Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1240-1250. The castle is an unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture with cultural elements from the classical antiquity, the Muslim world and Northern Europe. Castel del Monte is an octagonal building with an octagonal tower at each corner and an octagonal courtyard. Each floor has eight rooms. Frederick II enjoyed mathematics and science, he was friends with Fibonacci  which perhaps explains the unusual design of Castel del Monte. Or maybe he was inspired by the octagon shaped churches in Ravenna or the Palatine Chapel in Aachen. Castel del Monte was probably not built as a defensive fortress, it has neither a moat, drawbridge or dungeons. It was propably used as a hunting lodge. Later, the castle was used as a prison and a refuge during a plague. After restoration, the castle has regained its former beauty. Castel del Monte is depicted on the Italian one cent euro coin. The castle is situated about 100 km from the UNESCO World Heritage Sassi di Matera and 68 km from the UNESCO World Heritage Trulli of Alberobello. Castel del Monte was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1996.

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Castel del Monte - The imposing Castel del Monte is situated on an isolated hill at an altitude of 540 metres. The castle is an unique masterpiece of...

The imposing Castel del Monte is situated on an isolated hill at an altitude of 540 metres. The castle is an unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture, it features cultural elements from the classical antiquity, the Muslim world and northern Europe. Castel del Monte was part of a large network of defensive castles and residences built by the Roman Emperor Frederick II.

  1. Castel del Monte - The imposing Castel del Monte is situated on an isolated hill at an altitude of 540 metres. The castle is an unique masterpiece of...

    The imposing Castel del Monte is situated on an isolated hill at an altitude of 540 metres. The castle is an unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture, it features cultural elements from the classical antiquity, the Muslim world and northern Europe. Castel del Monte was part of a large network of defensive castles and residences built by the Roman Emperor Frederick II.

  2. Castel del Monte - A heavy thunderstorm looming over Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte is an octagonal building with an octagonal tower at each...

    A heavy thunderstorm looming over Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte is an octagonal building with an octagonal tower at each corner and an octagonal courtyard. Each floor has eight rooms. The walls are 25 metres high. The diameter of the castle is 56 metres. Castel del Monte gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1996.

  3. Castel del Monte - The main entrance to Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte has two entrances, a humble service entrance and the ornate main entrance. Castel del...

    The main entrance to Castel del Monte. Castel del Monte has two entrances, a humble service entrance and the ornate main entrance. Castel del Monte was probably not built as a defensive fortress, the castle has neithera moat, drawbridge or dungeons. The impressive castle has the shape of an octagon, the towers at each corner are also octagonal.

  4. Castel del Monte - The entrance gate of Castel del Monte is adorned with gargoyles. The castle is surrounded in mystery, the symbolism of the...

    The entrance gate of Castel del Monte is adorned with gargoyles. The castle is surrounded in mystery, the symbolism of the castle intrigues many people, the builder of the castle used the number eight as the guiding number. Some people believe that Castel del Monte is in fact an enormous astrological calendar, but there is no evidence for it.

  5. Castel del Monte - Each floor of Castel del Monte has eighth rooms. The rooms are adorned with marble columns. There is no evidence that Emperor...

    Each floor of Castel del Monte has eighth rooms. The rooms are adorned with marble columns. There is no evidence that Emperor Frederick ever used the castle, it seems that Castel del Monte never was really completed. The castle contains no furniture, it is completely empty. Castel del Monte was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1996.

  6. Castel del Monte - Castel del Monte: On the ground floor, the interior is adorned with coloured marble columns. The Roman Emperor Frederick II built a large network...

    Castel del Monte: On the ground floor, the interior is adorned with coloured marble columns. The Roman Emperor Frederick II built a large network of castles in Puglia, but the geometric design of Castel del Monte was unique. The octagonal plan of the castle is unusual in castle design. The castle is situated near the village of Corato in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.

  7. Castel del Monte - Castel del Monte has beautiful masonry walls and each of the main rooms have vaulted ceilings. Many different materials were used to build Castel...

    Castel del Monte has beautiful masonry walls and each of the main rooms have vaulted ceilings. Many different materials were used to build Castel del Monte, such as limestone and granite on the outer walls, the interior is decorated with marble columns and masonry. Three of the eighth towers contain staircases.

  8. Castel del Monte - After a number of restorations, Castel del Monte has regained its former beauty. Castel del Monte has two storeys, each with eighth floors....

    After a number of restorations, Castel del Monte has regained its former beauty. Castel del Monte has two storeys, each with eighth floors. There are remains of a floor mosaic in one of the rooms on the ground floor. De doors are adorned with coloured mable. Castel del Monte is depicted on the Italian one cent euro coin.

  9. Castel del Monte - The eight-sided courtyard of Castel del Monte during heavy rainfall. The octagonal courtyard of Castel del Monte is adorned with gargoyles. Castel...

    The eight-sided courtyard of Castel del Monte during heavy rainfall. The octagonal courtyard of Castel del Monte is adorned with gargoyles. Castel del Monte already had a plumbing system, the rain water was used for the toilets and the bathrooms. The architect and builder of Castel del Monte is unknown.

  10. Castel del Monte - Castel del Monte (Castle upon the Mountain) was built by Emperor Frederick II in 1240-1250. The castle was probably used as a hunting lodge....

    Castel del Monte (Castle upon the Mountain) was built by Emperor Frederick II in 1240-1250. The castle was probably used as a hunting lodge. Later, Castel del Monte was used as a prison and a refuge during a plague. During the Italian Campaign of WWII, Castle del Monte was used by 15th Army Air Force of the United States as a navigational station.