Castle

Le Castella

Via Duomo, 7, Isola di Capo Rizzuto, (Crotone)

Le Castella, built probably in the thirteenth century to control and defend entire territory, was part of a vast defense system (hence the name in the plural). Inside the building are still visible limestone boulders square dating back to Greek period (sixth century BC), set in place with a technique in "checkerboard", and small traces of Roman masonry. Current building, which overlooks the island, is Aragonese work  (XV century), set of two parts of defense: the first, which uses existing structures, the second, with functions keep, created from scratch on the shallow front. The fortress has an irregular plant and, within it, has incorporated a cylindrical tower of sighting, Angevin in clear (XIV century), characterized by beautiful spiral staircase in stone. Count Andrea Carafa, between 1510 and 1526, he built the mighty quadrangular ramparts. The whole area of ​​Capo Rizzuto is nestled in the charming "Saracen Coast", whose history is intertwined, not surprisingly, that of famous pirate Occhialì Pasha (Uluç Alì, Le Castella 1519 - Istanbul, 1587). Young Giovanni Dionigi Galeni, captured by Algerian pirate Khayr al-Din Barbarossa, in 1536, in Le Castella, denied Christian religion to kill a Turkish who had slapped him. He married the daughter of another Calabrian converted, Ja' far Pasha, and began a brilliant career as a pirate, who took command of the fleet of Alexandria and Tripoli, to become Governor of Algiers (1568). He participated in the Battle of Lepanto as commander of the Ottoman camp. In his onor, the bust in the square dedicated to him ("Uccialì Square").  

* Atlante dei Beni Culturali della Calabria
* Gustavo Valente, Vita di Occhialì, Milano, 1960
* S. Bono, Corsari nel Mediterraneo: cristiani e musulmani fra guerre, schiavitù e commercio, Milano, 1993

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