The route: Province of Pordenone

Pinzano Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


The castle of Pinzano was built on the right bank of the Tagliamento, opposite to that of...

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Pinzano Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


The castle of Pinzano was built on the right bank of the Tagliamento, opposite to that of Ragogna, which lies on the opposite shore. The castle of Pinzano (from the Latin predial name “Pincius”) dominates the plain below and the ford on the river, near the intersection of ancient roads.
It seems that the fortress was built to prevent the passage to the Hungarians, who have devastated Friuli in the 10th century, but the castle is mentioned for the first time in a document dating from the twelfth century, when the castle was inhabited by the Lords of Pinzano (inbred with those of Ragogna and perhaps vassals of the dukes of Carinthia). These feudal lords were able to extend the domain of Osoppo on several feuds and Ragogna, thus increasing their chances and rights; during their ascent, they found worthy opponents in the Lords of Maniago, Savorgnano and della Torre.
This family held the power until 1344, when there was a bloody act of violence, in which, the various branches of the family clashed with one another: Manfredo, who wanted to take possession of the estate and of the beautiful noblewoman Ida, has murdered Francesco, Pinzautto and Sucino. Following this event, Patriarch Bertrand, very irritated by these constant harassment, decided to intervene by force of arms, laid a siege on the castle (which was conquered after 46 days of futile resistance) and deposed the Pinzano, which, on this occasion, lost possession all their territories.
A few years later, in 1352, the estate passed to the Savorgnan who held it until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797.
In 1511 Pinzano was occupied by the German troops, but soon the castle lost its former importance and was abandoned altogether, perhaps because of the damage caused by the disastrous earthquakes of 1348 and 1511.
Originally the fortified complex, which extended over a large area, protected by several walls, bastions and two rectangular guard towers, was, because of its position naturally protected by the cliff and from the underlying Tagliamento River, an almost impregnable place.
The current remains suggest that the castle’s extension was very wide and varied. Some vestiges are still visible as well as numerous buildings included within the defensive areas, and what’s left of the church of St. Nicholas , which is named for the first time in a document of 1291. During the last recovery works, three-vaulted cellars have been brought to light.
The natural surroundings are extremely beautiful and can be fully appreciated retracing the ancient castle road. This manor has always been the subject of many legends and folk beliefs. According to many, in the castle’s basement (where once there were also the prisons), there should be a room where the Lords Pinzano hid their massive fortune, which resulted from their raids in Friuli.
The basement should also host some secret tunnels that run beneath the territory. One of these should reach the river Tagliamento and could have been used by the adopted daughter of Pinzano, to escape during the massacre of 1344.

Spilimbergo Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


Spilimbergo stands on the site of an ancient Roman castellum called Bibium (or Ribium)...

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Spilimbergo Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


Spilimbergo stands on the site of an ancient Roman castellum called Bibium (or Ribium). It lies on the fork of two major roads: one that led to the ford on the Tagliamento, and another one that connected Concordia Sagittaria with the Julia Augusta, near the modern Ospedaletto. The medieval town formed around 10th and 11th centuries and was mentioned for the first time in a document of 1204.
The castle (built in an uninhabited place that didn’t have a name),was mentioned only in 1244. It was built by a German family, the Spengenberg, who followed the Patriarch Vodolrico I as is clear from the will undersigned by Duke Henry II of Carinthia in favor of Ottocaro of Styria.
The name probably derives from the fusion of the Germanic word “spengel” (a kind of hawk ) or from the Latin “speculum” (lookout place) and German berg (mountain). The meaning should therefore be will have the "Hawk Mountain" or the " Lookout mountain". The Counts of Spilimbergo, who gave the name to the place, soon became very rich and powerful, and relying on their power and prestige, they often came in conflict with the Patriarch and, in more than one occasion, they conspired against him. The Castle went through many sieges during the wars between the medieval lords of Venice and Friuli: it was destroyed, burnt down, rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries.
The ancient family of Spilimbergo became extinct in the second half of the 13th century so Walter Pertoldo II adopted his daughter's husband, the noble Giovanni of Zuccola, so that the noble house of Zuccola Spilimbergo came to life, and sat in fourth place in the Parliament of Friuli.
The family eventually has extended its jurisdiction over more than thirty estates and villas. In the patriarchal the lords were considered of “pincernae et caniparii”, ie with they had to guard the cellars and pour to the patriarch the first cup.
In 1216 the city was attacked by the militia of Treviso, who allied with the Caminese and Ezzelino the Monk. In 1305 Spilimbergo joined the league led by Rizzardo da Camino, which included Obizzo d'Este, the Count of Gorizia, Ortemburg, the Collalto and the Polcenigo, but they were betrayed and, even though they tried to defend it, the castle was damaged.
Only in 1313 Giovanni di Spilimbergo gave once again firmness to the defenses and transformed the castle into a luxurious residence. The most famous and dramatic episode occurred in 1350, during the civil war that bloodied the feudal Friuli. On the plain of Richinvelda, a few kilometers south of the city, some landowners departed from the Castle of Spilimbergo and, led by Henry of Spilimbergo, confronted and killed in ambushed the old but energetic patriarch (later beatified) Bertrando of San Genesio.
The family, however, became so powerful and influential that Henry, was not even touched by the vengeance of Bertrando’s successor, the patriarch Nicolò of Luxembourg, which heavily raged against other less powerful members of feudalism.
The lords of Spilimbergo were also involved in the disputes of 1385, following the appointment of Filippo d’Alengon as commendatory Patriarch.
In 1420, these feudal lords that submitted to the Venetian domain, still preserved their ancient privileges and immunities. The castle suffered considerable damages in 1511, as a result of the fighting between the factions supporting Venice and those in favor of the Empire, and the earthquake that struck Friuli in the same year.
In 1797 Napoleon's troops occupied the fort and the town and erected the borough that automatically deprived the Lords of Spilimbergo of all kinds of autonomy and privilege.
The castle, for its prestige and the wealth of its owners, hosted many kings and prelates passing through Friuli: in 1401 it hosted King Roberto of Germany, in 1413 Sigismondo King of the Romans, in 1532 the Emperor Carlo V and his court, in 1556 Bona Sforza, queen of Poland, in 1568 Enrico III of France, in 1581 the Empress Maria of Austria, and in 1797 Napoleone Bonaparte.
What is now visible of the castle of Spilimbergo, therefore, doesn't belong to the original building, but is the result of a series of changes that have been added up over the centuries. The manor, once surrounded by towers and moats, is now presented as a series of mansions rings arranged around the large central courtyard, half encircled by a deep moat, while the remaining portion overlooks the river Tagliamento.
Once crossed the bridge over the moat and watchtower, the first building you'll see on the left is the Tadea Palace, rebuilt in Renaissance style in 1566 by Tadea, wife of Bernardino di Spilimbergo, which has inside a large decorated hall with a stucco dating back to the eighteenth-century.
Adjacent to it, there’s Palace Ciriani (now Furlan), which preserves a frieze with stucco by Giovanni da Udine dating back to 1542 and some remains of frescoes of the 16th century. A nice round-arched stone doorway, decorated with fossils, gives access to the palace built by Messer Troilo after the fire of 1511 and painted, in 1544, by Marco Tiussi. Under the Austrian authority it was given to the Municipality and used as a prison until 1968, the two cells on the ground floor are still intact.
The facade of the famous Palazzo Dipinto (rebuilt towards the end of the 14th century, it was the only building that survived the fire of 1511) shows the beautiful frescoes attributed to Bellunello, while the stone balconies were designed by Pilacorte. The decorations were probably wanted by Alvise di Spilimbergo to celebrate the relationship between his house and that of Altan of San Vito.
In the best-preserved parts, there are male portraits as well as coats of arms, the four cardinal virtues, figures with musical instruments and pages holding the horses reins. The prolongation of the Palace Dipinto gives evidence of the previous presence of another castle wing, that was once linked the east wing with the west: this part though, following the fire of 1511, was never rebuilt. The castle complex closes in the west with buildings of the 16th century.
The Cathedral, built inside the fort, is still an admirable Gothic structure crypt shows clear lines of Romanesque style. The main door, called Moorish door, dates from the late '300s and was sculpted by Zenone da Campione. Altars, arches and the baptismal font were made by Antonio Pilacorte (1455-1531).
The main chapel has interesting frescoes by Vitale da Bologna (1309-1360), some other frescoes are attributed to Giovanni Martini (1470 -1535), the organ doors were decorated by the hand of Giovanni Antonio de Sacchis, called the Pordenone (1483 -1539).

In August, Spilimbergo welcomes the evocative Historical Re-enactment of Macia.

Castle of Solimbergo (Sequals)


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


The origins of the castle of Solimbergo (probably built on a defensive structure of the Lombard...

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Castle of Solimbergo (Sequals)


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


The origins of the castle of Solimbergo (probably built on a defensive structure of the Lombard period), are dubious, but it is certain that it was the seat of the German feudal lords. The name, in fact, probably derives from Sonnenberg, "castle of the sun” or “bright " because of its location in bright sunlight, or from Schoeneberg, "beautiful castle" from schön (nice) and berg (mountain).
The Germanic origin of the name means that the fort was built by a family who spoke German and that the hill, on which it was erected, did not host any previous buildings and did not bear a particularly name.
The origin of "Castrum Sonembergi "is documented by a deed of gift in 1196, with which Almerico of Castelnuovo and Madame Vigland yielded some farms to the bishop of Concordia, Romulus, and received, in return, the investiture of half of the hill near villa de Subcollibus to complete the erection of a castle named Sonemberg "that had already been started".
On September 1, 1196 Alberico and the patriarch of Aquileia Pellegrino II signed a pact of friendship and near the manor was built a chapel dedicated to St. Daniel. In the following years, the feud has been inhabited by Lords from Carintia that have acquired their name from the fief.
Eventually the castle was owned by the lords of Flagogna and, in 1384, it finally passed to the Lords of Spilimbergo.
Since then, the castle never changed its owners and was never assaulted by enemies , except in 1387 when, during the retreat of the troops from Carrara, some of the family’s possessions in Solimbergo were damaged. The fort was gradually abandoned, and left to its own destiny.
Due to the absence of major feats of arms, it is supposed that the castle has been ruined more by the neglect and abandonment, than other bloodier causes.
Probably, given the limited size of the architectural works, it was mainly used as a lookout with a few soldiers, rather than as place as a feudal residence.
The castle of Solimbergo appears today as a small fortified house, surrounded by a wall which originally was quite tall. As well as parts of the defensive enclosure of irregular shape you can still see part of the square tower, built on a natural the rock basis and characterized by very small but the interior with walls about a meter and a half thick.
A kiln for firing pottery and the noble rooms of the mansion are also still visible.

Toppo Castle (Travesio)


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


In Toppo, a small hamlet of Travesio, there are the remains of an ancient castle, which was...

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Toppo Castle (Travesio)


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


In Toppo, a small hamlet of Travesio, there are the remains of an ancient castle, which was probably erected in Lombards’ time already, where once stood a Roman strategic observatory or watchtower.
Ansfrido, who took possession of Friuli during Duke Rodoaldo’s absence, lived inside this manor. The name, which in Friulian means "big landed tree trunk", probably indicated the location where trunks were drew and is documented in 1186 with the phrase "et quidquid in villa de Toppo”.
The first certain documents on this fort, are dated 1188, when a Ursino Toppo holds the position of "dapifero" (the bearer of food) of the Patriarch of Aquileia Gotofredo, abbot of Sesto al Règhena, which suggests that the family held a considerably high position in feudal Friuli.
In 1220 the Lords of Toppo, holders of a "voice" in the Parliament and very loyal to the patriarch , gave the Castle and its domain to the children of Sifrido of Ragogna, Engepretto, Brisa and Varnerio. The Ragogna - Pinzano branch of the family moved in Toppo, abandoning the original name and taking that of the conquered castle. In 1314 the Count of Gorizia conquered the castle from Walterpertoldo Toppo and sentenced him to harsh imprisonment as punishment for the damage caused to Odorico Scotto, Lords of Montereale.
By that time the news about the lords of Toppo became more and more fragmented, but it is certain that in 1348 an earthquake damaged the castle and killed some family members. It is assumed that the branch of the family who still held the ancestral castle became extinct towards the end of the 14th century.
In 1426 the Republic of Venice sold the fourth jurisdiction’s part to the Counts of Porcia Toppo, but the reason is still unknown.
With the passage of time and the changing of historical situations, the castle lost its strategic and ancient defensive importance and ended up being neglected and abandoned: a document dating from 1567 describes it as "uncovered by weapons and in ruins", but the Lords Toppo of died out only in 1883, when the last heir, Francesco I, died.

The charming ruins of the castle, rise imposingly on a rocky hill, situated in the plain near the Meduna valleys, between the rivers Tagliamento and Meduna.
As most of castles on the foothills, the manor has been built following the natural inclination of the mountain and, in fact, it climbs uphill, along the protruding boulders. The fortress, a massive building with no windows on the first floor, is bordered by two city walls: the outermost has an arched portal which is located next to a church. Inside the chapel, are hanged some fragments of faded paintings. The oldest wall is the inner boundary, which is more than 15 meters high.
To enter the castle, visitors must climb a ramp that ends with a stone archway, that was the alleged main entrance to the manor house. The fort has a square shape, a perimeter of about 50m and a maximum height of 10 meters, the only windows are arched, similar at the building’s entrance.
The corbels that support the beams of the first floor are made of a slightly fitted stone, while the top floor takes the form of an elegant capital. The manor retains part of the battlements.
The legend tells that Pia Mele, daughter of Count Mele Solimbergo, already betrothed to a young man, was kidnapped by Prince Gori and died within the walls of the castle.

Maniago Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Maniago (which was originally named Montegiardino and whose name...

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Maniago Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Maniago (which was originally named Montegiardino and whose name derives from the Latin “Manilius”, followed by the Celtic suffix "-accus") was presumably built in place of a Roman watchtower and refitted by the Lombards.
The castle stands on a strategic spur where olive trees grow. This area was crossed by many crucial roads that connected the villages on the foothills and led to the North, toward Belluno and Tarvisio.
It was a place of control and payment for the Patriarchy of Aquileia. On January 12, 981 Emperor Ottone II confirmed to the patriarch of Aquileia Rodoaldo, the feudal possession of the "Cortem this vocatur Maniacus".
Considering both the castle’s ruins and the drawings that survived the test of time, the castle appeared to be of considerable size and included the patriarch’s residence and the lords’ homes. It was equipped with three towers and defended by city walls.
In the 11th century, the Patriarch divided the territory of Maniago and gave it mostly to the Maniago family who was appointed in 1195.
It was certainly a patriarchal castle, it was granted partly as a residential fief and partly as a ministerial fief and it has witnessed continuous feats of arms through the centuries.
The first attack came in 1216 by the hands of Ezzelino II da Romano, head of the Ghibelline party in Northern Italy , and its ally Vecellone from Camino, but they rejected. In 1309, due to some issues of boundaries and grazing between the villages of Maniago and Fanna, the castle underwent a new siege. It was defended by the Earl of Montepace (commander of the patriarchal weapons) who repelled the assailants with a sortie, put to flight Walterpertoldo of Spilimbergo and captured Enrico of Prampero.
From 1311 to 1319 the castle was badly damaged by the Lords of Pinzano and Porcia, but in 1319 Galvano of Maniago swore to the General Captain of the Patriarch to make truce with those Lords, while his brother Volveno came to an agreement with the City for the walls’ expansion and the strengthening of the castle.
In 1333 Patriarch Bertrando granted to Galvano of Maniago the residence at the castle, so he could have in his hands over most of the fort, which, in 1355, also included the small church of St. James.
In 1377 Nichilo, son of Gawain, received by Patriarch Marquard the full ownership of the castle, village, fort, tower, rounds and palace. The Maniago, who later assumed the title of Counts, gradually increased their prestige and were able to sit in the Parliament of Friuli.
In 1385-1387 the castle suffered several attacks and a fire, caused by the neglect of a woman selling buns.
The place was occupied by the Republic of Venice in 1420, which confirmed the investiture to the lords of Maniago who weren’t actually in favor of the Venetian occupation.
On the occasion of the Turkish invasion of 1467, the castle was equipped with new additional defensive works that continued until 1511, when, as a result of the earthquake of March 26, and those who followed it (there were at least thirty before 1600 ), the castle was gradually abandoned and destroyed.
The Lords lived in the buildings at the foot of the hill and in the square. In 1630, after the death of an old lady who did not want to move elsewhere, the castle remained permanently uninhabited.
From the family, came out various personalities, among which there are: the scholar and historian Jacopo Valvason of Maniago (1499-1570); various knights, such as Odorico of Maniago who participated, in 1342, in the crusade against the Turks , Bartolomeo, who at the end of '300 was in command of a mounted lancers company paid by the Duke of Milan, and finally five family members who participated in the famous naval battle of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571, between Christian and Ottoman naval forces.
Currently you can see a semi-circular wall, which is part of the outer defense, the imposing ruins of the main castle, and the church dedicated to St. James whose foundation probably dates from the 11th century.

Aviano Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


The foundation of Castel d'Aviano is traced back to the time of the Hungarian invasions...

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Aviano Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: road


The foundation of Castel d'Aviano is traced back to the time of the Hungarian invasions, in the first half of the 10th century, but it is assumed that the manor, as many others in this border region, had originally been a watchtower on the Guarda Hill.
The castle is documented for the first time in 1161, when the estate was granted by Emperor Frederico II to the bishop of Belluno, and then passed to the Lords of Polcenigo, who then returned it to the Patriarchate at the end of the 13th century.
In 1328 it was given as feud to Pietro de Rubeis and then, in April 1334, to Morando, Odorico and Nanfosio of Porcia who, by paying a large sum of money, committed to its defense. Ten years later, the castle passed to the Savorgnan, and was involved in the wars that opposed the Camino to the Patriarchate. During the struggles between Rodolfo IV of Austria and the patriarch Lodovico della Torre, the castle was attacked and devastated by raids and lootings. The fortress of Aviano remained involved in the fighting in Friuli for the appointment as Patriarch of Filippo of Alenon and, in 1387, the lords of Aviano were forced to ask to Sacile the intervention of twenty archers to defend from the Lords of Polcenigo.
In the same year the manor was attacked and occupied by the troops of Carrara, lord of Padua and ally of Filippo.
Another war occurred in 1411 when Pippo Spano, general captain of King Sigismund, with his Hungarian knights occupied the castle. In 1419 the Venetians, however, set on fire the castle of Aviano to avoid the danger of the Hungarians' return, that could have led to a new occupation of this fort situated in a particularly favorable place.
Even if the inhabitants of Aviano had obtained from the Venetian Republic the permission to restore the ancient defenses, in 1499 when the Turks entered Friuli and attacked the castle, the fortress was devastated and overwhelmed all the same.
Involved in the struggles provoked by the League of Cambrai, who saw Pope Giulio II, Maximilian Emperor of Germany, Luigi XII of France and Ferdinand of Aragon allied against the Venetian Republic, the castle of Aviano had to submit to the emperor who gave it in fief to Livio de 'Speladi. A new return of the Venetian militias led to the fortress’ allocation to the spouses Gabrieli, who kept its jurisdiction until 1806.
Currently, all that remains of the ancient fortress (which was a legendary castle with seven towers that still bears great charm and appeal) consists of the walls, with a 10th century portal, which encloses three square towers and a round one, all partially destroyed, and the ruins of the keep which had a pentagonal shape; the fourteenth-century Church of Santa Giuliana intra muros , which holds great importance for the artistic works it preserves, among which are to remember a series of frescoes attributed to different schools, with Byzantine and post Giotto influences that decorate the nave and the chancel arch. They are certainly among the most important works in the region.

Caneva Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


The castle of Caneva (from Latin "Cànipa", meaning "store" or "cellar", perhaps...

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Caneva Castle


Zone: hill
The site is reachable by: trail


he castle of Caneva (from Latin "Canipa", meaning "store" or "cellar " , perhaps in reference to taxes that were collected here on behalf of the patriarchs of Aquileia), is located in a strategic position on the western border of Friuli but its origins are uncertain. The first documents about the fort attest that in 1034 it was granted by the emperor Conrad II to the church of Aquileia, that had to fortify the hill to defend it against the Hungarians that came raging across the region, at the end of year one thousand, . The castle was built on this site of considerable strategic importance which was already used in prehistoric and Roman times. As a matter of fact it was built on the ruins of a fortified Neolithic/paleo -Venetian castelliere and a Roman watchtower . The manor’s location, at the edge of the possessions of the Patriarchate and the influencing area of Caneda, made it very desirable by several noble Friulian families and , therefore, the site of many violent fighting between patriarchal troops and the lords of Treviso, that tried to conquer the castle but failed. The most bloody siege took place in 1204. It lasted more than fifteen days and ended with devastation and death. After a period of alternating domination by the Trevigiani, the castle was permanently acquired by the Patriarchy, for which represented an important defensive point in the west; the fief was assigned to important families such as the Porcia, the Zuccola , the Savorgnan and the di Toppo.
In 1363 , during the disputes between Roberto, Duke of Austria, and the patriarch Lodovico della Torre, the castle suffered serious devastation by the retreating ducal troops. A similar situation occurred in the course of the struggles for the appointment as Patriarch of Filippo d’Alancon.
Caneva , which joined the league against the Patriarch, was sometimes occupied by Carrara and other militias. In 1388 the King of Bohemia and the patriarch, Giovanni di Moravia, demanded the return of this castle to the Church of Aquileia .
In the first decade of the fifteenth century, during the war between Venice and King Sigismondo of Hungary, Caneva signed a pact of mutual assistance with the Serenissima, but in 1419, in order not to be looted, the castle was finally tamed by Venice.
Since then, the castle has lost the old strategic value and was included in the jurisdiction of the mayor of Sacile, which had to guard the walls and command the soldiers’ garrison of. In 1449, the rule of Sacile on the castle ceased and Caneva, once obtained its own mayor, that had to remit a fee of 140 gold ducats In 1479, the Lieutenant of Udine urged the provisions concerning the strengthening of the defenses of the walled manor, anticipating the Turks’s descent.
The castle was kept in full working order and in fact, during the repeated raids that took place between 1477 and 1499 , the Turks have damaged the surrounding area but did not have the courage to attack the defenses of the castle of Caneva, naturally well- protected by the hill and its walls.
The castle consisted of two city walls, one on top of the hill to protect the mansions and the keep, and a lower one encircling the village and the farm buildings on the terraces of the hill.
After the submission to the Serenissima, the castle obviously lost its importance and went through to a long period of decadence. In the '600s , completely ruined, was abandoned by its few inhabitants who were dwelling in the houses below . The remains of the ancient castle consist of some of the ancient defensive city walls and the remains of some towers. Within the castle walls there’s the church of Saint Lucia, which was rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century and adorned with Renaissance frescoes.
The bell tower is very interesting, because it was built on the old access tower, with a beautiful bas-relief of the Lion of St. Mark above the door.
Every year the city holds the "Castle Party", which brings back to life the ancient village and restores it to its medieval splendor.
Castle’s opening hours: Every day of the year from 10.00 am. to 07.00 pm. (closed on Mondays)

Porcia Castle


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The first news about the fortress date back to September 15, 1188 when Guecello I, Lord...

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Porcia Castle


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The first news about the fortress date back to September 15, 1188 when Guecello I, Lord of Prata and lawyer of the Church of Ceneda, was appointed as "cum comitatu" by the patriarch of Aquileia of the feud and the castle of Porcia.
He has then allied with Ottone, bishop of Belluno, against Treviso but he was defeated, and had to accept various and humiliating conditions to save his life. In the course of the twelfth century, they obtained from the Patriarchate of Aquileia various feuds, on which they had civil and criminal jurisdiction, and later obtained the title of Count of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Porcia fought against the Patriarchy of Aquileia, joining forces with Treviso (1219), against the County of Gorizia and then again, against the commendatory patriarch Filippo d’Alencon. In 1418 when the Venetian conquest of Friuli begun, they submitted spontaneously to Venice and they were reconfirmed the ancient fiefs and privileges.
In contrast to what happened in most of Friuli the Turkish hordes in 1499, could do nothing against well equipped Palace of Porcia that had previously been enhanced with defensive walls and armaments.
Over time, the Lords of Porcia have grown in prestige and power and have occupied the first place in the hierarchy of the castle nobility in the Parliament of Friuli. They have also intermarried with the main families of Friuli, Treviso and Italy.
The manor thus became the center of important political and cultural events. Many emperors, like Charles V (1532) and Henry III of Habsburg, have visited the castle, appreciating, as the memorials say, the good wine, the fine cooking and the admirable hospitality. The Village’s importance is confirmed by the fact that, already in 1451, the Jews opened a pawnshop.
In a 16th century writing, Count Gerolamo of Porcia described his manor in this way : "This is a big castle, very well set up, with water, civilians’ houses; [... ] has beautiful Palaces, two beautiful towers, one of which, is said to be more than 1600 years old, a new one, made on the shape of the towerbell of S. Marco in Venice, on which you can ascend on horseback."

Over time the castle has been particularly damaged by earthquakes which have compromised the original architecture. The ancient castle included the noble’s residence, the church with a tower bell similar to that of S. Mark and some ancient towers; it was enclosed by crenellated walls and eight defensive towers. Today, the castle complex is formed by buildings of different styles like a Renaissance palace and a building of Venetian style, which are flanked by what is left of the old Castle: the imposing central medieval tower whose base walls are about three meters thick. In the building currently used as cellar, are also preserved some remains of the Coat of Arms and Diamond Hall, destroyed by fire in the sixteenth century.
The property still belongs, after 800 years, to the noble family of Porcia.

Torre Castle (Pordenone)


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Torre was built on a site that, in Roman times already, was of considerable...

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Torre Castle (Pordenone)


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Torre was built on a site that, in Roman times already, was of considerable importance, as it is placed on the navigability limits of the Noncello, near the springs.
It probably arose in the thirteenth century by the will of the Patriarch of Aquileia and the Lords of Prata, which had it under their management. For a long time, it has been an Austrian zone in the patriarchy, and then a Venetian one. The feudal lords of this manor were the protagonists of war and politic events.
In 1293 the Patriarch Raimondo della Torre strove to subdue the feud, but only his successor, Peter II Gera, succeeded in 1300.
In 1307, the patriarch Ottobono de Razzi gave the castle to the noble Corrado Pellizza in exchange for loyalty, but the Count of Gorizia seized it in 1313 and managed to cope with the reactions of the patriarch Pagano della Torre.
In 1344 the castle was subject to the Patriarch Bertrand Saint Genies first, and then to the Lords of Ragogna, to whom it was finally assigned in 1391 by Patriarch Giovanni V of Moravia. On April 12, 1402, Giovanni di Ragogna, claiming his rights against the German Captain of Pordenone, Mordax , perished with his wife and six children while defending the castle, which was being attacked and burned by imperial troops, that destroyed it almost entirely. Only the tower remained standing.
This fact caused quite a stir, and the Patriarch came with his troops in Pordenone to determine the events that had led to such a devastation. Once verified all responsibilities, the crime remained unpunished. The Patriarch obtained a commitment from the community of Pordenone, that had to rebuild the castle and its defensive works. After the Venetian occupation in 1420, the Castle of Ragogna ceased to be used for military purposes and became a noble residence.
In 1567, Girolamo of Porcia described the ancient fort as such, "the castle of Torre, which has a single tower, where the lord’s house and the villa arise, it was owned by the patriarchs of Aquileia."
Over the centuries, due to the many war events, the castle underwent many alterations and modifications. The fort was built around a keep of about 9 meters large and 2 feet thick. Later, probably around the first decades of the fourteenth century, the tower was raised of a whole floor. The northern tower and the wall were equipped with Ghibelline battlements, perhaps to honor the new owners: the Counts of Gorizia, traditional enemies of the Patriarch.
The erection of a circular tower in the southwest corner of the curtain wall, is probably due to the new feudal Lord Giovannino of Ragogna, who began work at Tower in 1391 thanks to an agreement with the Patriarchate of Aquileia, to better respond to the new artillery needs.
During the sixteenth century the Counts carried out many decorative improvements. Among them stands out the fresco, located on the ground floor of the palace, built to the north of the keep, that is attributable to Gianfrancesco from Tolmezzo, which illustrates the Annunciation.
Later, in the seventeenth century, the castle was expanded with the grand staircase leading to the first floor, with the lodge and the ground floor which is decorated with the theme of the siege of Vienna in 1683. Around the ancient tower arise other buildings from later periods.
By the will of the last heir of the feudal family of Ragogna, the castle tower is now home to the Archeological Museum of Western Friuli, which contains numerous prehistoric artifacts from the archaeological sites near Pordenone (mostly from Palù di Livenza, a UNESCO site), some Roman relics (precious archaeological materials relevant to the nearby Roman villa of Torre, discovered in the 50s on the left bank of the river Noncello), as well as some objects from the Renaissance.

Opening hours:
Friday and Saturday: from 15:00 to 18.00
Sundays: 10.00 - 12.00 and 15.00 - 18.00

Zoppola Castle


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle (mentioned in a document from 1103 in which Alpuino Zaupula purchased some goods...

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Zoppola Castle


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle (mentioned in a document from 1103 in which Alpuino Zaupula purchased some goods by Ubaldo and Giovanni of Castions) was probably built at the beginning of the eleventh century to guard the road that from the ford on the Tagliamento led to Portus Naonis (Pordenone), which was seriously threatened by the disastrous Hungarian raids.
Given its position on a flat area, very difficult to defend, the castle was provided, from its very birth, with several defensive systems, including two ditches, three boundary walls, gates and towers.
The estate originally belonged to the enclave of the royal court of Naone, dominated by the Dukes of Carinthia and then by the Dukes of Austria, from which it passed to the domains of Aquileia following the occupation by patriarchal militias that occurred in 1365.
The division of the castle between two branches of the same family, which took place in 1360 with a measure by Duke Rudolph of Austria, started the decadence. In the absence of male heirs in both lines, the castle, with its relevant jurisdictions, was assigned to the lords of Valvasone and those of Mels - Prodolone.
In 1405, the patriarch Antonio Girdle (who belonged to an influential family of Portogruaro and was the former bishop, and later Cardinal, of Concordia) convinced his brothers to buy the castle and, in this way, they originated the new family of the Panciera of Zoppola to whom the manor still belongs.
In 1420, the Venetian Republic occupied these territories, but confirmed the Panciera that gradually improved the castle walls, although they were partially destroyed in the sixteenth century by the popular uprising led by Antonio Savorgnan.
The Panciera improved the defensive walls and adorned the inside building with taste and elegance. He decorated it with valuable works of art and antique furniture. In 1567 the historian Gerolamo from Porcia described it as such: "The Castle has three moats, but on the inside there’s nothing but the house belonging to the magnificent Lords, who dwell in the last circuit."
Of the ancient defensive system survives, even if severely damaged, the main tower, located almost in the middle of the castle complex. The inner courtyard is decorated with frescoes by Pomponio Amalteo, while on the inside there are several well preserved rooms with frescoes and coffered ceilings (one of the room is decorated with the coats of arms of the houses that took part in the Parliament of Friuli), carved doorposts attributed to Pilacorte or to his school, furniture and furnishings.
Near the castle complex there are other buildings dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries and a large park created in the mid 19th century.

Sbrojavacca Castle (Chions)


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Sbrojavacca probably originated from an ancient fortification built around...

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Sbrojavacca Castle (Chions)


Zone: plain
The site is reachable by: road


The castle of Sbrojavacca probably originated from an ancient fortification built around the year one thousand, following the Hungarian invasions, on the ancient road that connects San Vito al Tagliamento with Motta di Livenza.
It has belonged to the family that bears the same name (whose origins are unknown but seem to derive from a French family who arrived in Friuli with Charles the Great) since the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as attested by the sources related to the moments in which the patriarchs, to whom the family was submitted, granted them the castle’s investiture with its feuds and devices.
The first mention of Sbrojavacca dates back to 1220. In 1251 many military and politic events originated from the rebellion of Ulvino of Sbrojavacca against the Patriarch Bertoldo of Andechs, in favor of Treviso, who had attacked the patriarchal castle of San Vito al Tagliamento.
The castle of Sbrojavacca, fell into the hands of the then inhabitants of Padua and Treviso, bitter enemies of the Church of Aquileia. It was eventually recaptured by the patriarchal troops and given to the family branch who had remained loyal to the Patriarch.
In 1511 Leonardo Prodolone, allied with Emperor Maximilian and therefore bitter enemy of the Republic of Venice and the lords of Sbrojavacca, attacked the castle with a band of German cavalry, looting and destroying, inter alia, "a large number of ancient documents". In the nineteenth century, it lost the characteristics of a fortress and assumed the guise of a residential building as a result of a radical reconstruction work, by architect Francesco Maria Preti.
For unknown reasons in 1820, it was demolished and left with a single, five floor, square tower which was called by the local people the "Torate".
From a detachment on the eastern wall, it is clear that there once was a building and the same can be said for the opposite wall. Still evident is the imprint of the wide moat that surrounded the original castle.
Near the tower is also the church of St. Julian, who was part of the castle complex. The present church, which was built in 1332 and then rebuilt in 1661, was subject to the Abbey of Sesto and therefore depended directly on the Patriarch of Aquileia. The castle was totally changed in the nineteenth century and in 1934, the current crenellated bell tower was erected in place of the previous double lancet bell that had been destroyed as a result of a lightning storm.

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