Calabria, Ducal Palace of Corigliano Calabro 

Discover the symbol of the small Calabrian village 

In Calabria there are some charming villages to discover that guard magnificent monuments such as the Ducal Palace of Corigliano Calabro. This is the symbol of this small village of farmers and fishermen and is today the favorite destination of many tourists visiting the Italian Ionian coast.

Calabria is a region that owes its charm not only to its wonderful natural landscapes but also to the incredible historical monuments present here. The palace has a long history to discover through the visit inside. Along with the stories and legends about it.  

The history of the Ducal Palace of Corigliano Calabro

The ducal palace of Corigliano Calabro is an ancient manor house located in the historic center of the small Calabrian village. It is defined as one of the most beautiful and best preserved castles in southern Italy. Since 1927 the palace has been a national monument and now houses a historical and cultural museum. The castle is located on top of the hill of Serratore and is clearly visible from the road that leads to the small Calabrian village in the province of Cosenza.


The history of the ducal palace of Corigliano Calabro 

The palace was built as a military fortress in 1073 and over the years has been subjected to numerous interventions that have transformed its appearance. The original structure was first enlarged to be impregnable to the attacks of enemies and later became a stately residence.

In the period between 1487 and 1485 he stationed here a garrison of soldiers of the Royal Administration. In this period the towers were built at the top of the quadrilateral according to the cardinal points. Count Bernardino Sanseverino made other changes between 1515 and 1516 concerning the bastions, the towers, the defensive works, the moat, the house and the prisons.

As for the octagonal tower that overlooks the Keep, the chapel of Sant’Agostino and the completion of the roofing structures, their completion is the work of the family of the dukes Saluzzo owners of the palace from 1650 to 1720. In 1828 the property passed to Giuseppe Compagna.

His second son Luigi had frescoed the dome of the chapel of Sant’Agostino by the Florentine master Girolamo Varni who also took care of the Mastio tower. In 1971 the palace was sold by Francesco Compagna to the Archbishop of Rossano for a symbolic figure. In 1979 it was purchased by the town of Corigliano Calabro who completed the last restoration works.


Ducal Palace of Corigliano Calabro: the museum 

Today the ducal palace of Corigliano Calabro is a museum that can be visited to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the past. Once inside the castle the first part to visit are the prisons located on the ground floor. The rooms have now been made accessible to the public after many restoration works. In the cells there are also the instruments of torture that were used on prisoners.

In the mezzanine floor, after passing the drawbridge, there is a corridor that leads to the nineteenth-century cast iron kitchen. Here are exposed all the objects of the time used for the preparation of food. From here you can continue through a small corridor that leads to the trophy room and the hall of Santa Barbara. The latter was used as a warehouse to store weapons and ammunition useful in case of attack on the building. Going up to the upper floors you will find the Hall of Thrones and the Dining Room.

Then the visit continues through the Corridor of Arms that leads to the Hall of Mirrors one of the most elegant of the castle. Undoubtedly one of the most evocative places of the palace is the Chapel of Sant’Agostino built by Agostino Saluzzo in the second half of 1600. On the walls there are frescoes that scenes of the Old Testament of Varni.

The emblem of the castle is its tower Mastio which is located to the left of the bridge. It is a detached body from the castle to which it is connected by a drawbridge that in 1720 was replaced by a stable passage. In 1870 the Neapolitan masters made the cast iron spiral staircase that is still considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe.


Legends and curiosities of the ducal palace of Corigliano Calabro 

There are many legends and stories about the charming ducal palace of Corigliano Calabro. One of the most famous is the ghost of the castle. According to oral accounts, a young woman who worked in the palace fell in love with the baron. When the Baroness discovered this, she had the young peasant girl locked up in the castle’s prisons and left her to starve. Even today the spirit of the girl wanders among the rooms of the castle in which she was forbidden entry.

Some visitors, perhaps very suggestible, said they had witnessed during the exploration of the manor strange phenomena attributable to the soul in pain of the girl.  Ghosts or not the Ducal Palace of Corigliano Calabro is worth a visit, before a walk on its wonderful promenade.

Copertina: wikipedia

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