Pictures of Castel Del Monte, Puglia, Italy. Images, Photos & Fotos { 29 images } Created 10 Nov 2012

Pictures images photos of the medieval Castel Del Monte ( Castle on the Mount ) situated in Adria in the Apulia region in southern Italy. Castel del Monte sits onto of a hill above the plains of Apulia like a bright beacon visible to all below. It is known that it was ordered to be built by Emperor Frederick II in the 1240's but the reason for its unique octagonal design has been lost in the mists of time. The lack of moat and outer defensive wall suggests that Castel Del Monte was built as a hunting lodge for Frederick II. Castel Del Monte has eight outer walls with an octagonal courtyard in the middle. At the corners of each octagon is an octagonal tower. It has been suggested that the octagonal shape of Castel Del Monte may have been inspired by the octagonal Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem which Frederick would have seen during the sixth crusade. Others suggest that as the first cubic number (2 x 2 x 2), eight is considered the perfect number and therefore had a meaning to medieval people that has been lost. It has also been suggested that the octagon was seen by medieval man as a link between a square representing earth and a circle representing the sky. The octagon and circular dome was popular in religious architecture because the number 8 is symbolic of renewal. Whatever the reason for the octagonal design of Castel del Monte it remains one of the most imposing medieval castles in Europe which has been renovated to its former glory. The unique nature of Castel Del Monte is recognised in its UNESCO World Heritage Status who describe it as follows. " In its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world, and classical antiquity, Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval military architecture, reflecting the humanism of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen."

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