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The town hall of the province of Lucca
 
Bagni di Lucca
Barga
Borgo a Mozzano
Camaiore
Castelnuovo Garf.
Coreglia Antelminelli
Montecarlo
Pietrasanta
Vergemoli
Viareggio
Castiglione Garfagnana
 
The castle of Castiglione Garfagnana
 
 
The churches of Castiglione Garfagnana
S.Michele
S.Pietro
 
 
 
 
 
The countries of
Castiglione Garf.
 
 
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Casone di Profecchia
Cerageto
Chiozza
Isola
Mozzanella
S.Pellegrino in Alpe
Valbona
Verucchia (il castello)
 
 
 

 

 

Castiglione Garfagnana Google maps
The fortress of the castle of Castiglione Garfagnana Castiglione Garfagnana
Castiglione Garfagnana
Castiglione Garfagnana, called by the Romans "Castrum Leonis" (castle of the lions) for the courage and the ardor put in battle against them from the Liguri-Apuanis, it is the castle of the Garfagnana, that more other you has maintained unchanged her medieval structure, initially hostile fortress of Lucca and subsequently important defensive rampart of the lucchesis in earth estense, in her history he has suffered different sieges and destructions but every time the castiglionesi the Roman appellative deserving himself, they have tenaciously reconstructed their suburb.
Despite Castiglione Garfagnana both one of the most ancient castles of the Garfagnana, of her history before Thousand we know few, among the most ancient documents to our disposition, there is a dated parchment 723, in which the Bishop of Lucca Thalesperiano, recommended Aurimando and Gandefrido to their brothers, founders of the church of S.Pietro in Castiglione, to give to this last some of their earths "Castellione Apud Farnetam."
Ancient feud of the Count Guido Spinetta of Castelvecchio (983) and Mr. of S.Michele (Plaza to the Serchio), Castiglione in the XI century got from the Countess Matilde of the special rights and privileges, that set him to the peer of Lucca and the other free Communes in Tuscany.
In 1149, Lucca and Pisa they entered war, Castiglione Garfagnana as other castles of the Garfagnana, to oppose the advanced lucchese in the Valley of the Serchio, joins him Pisa in the hope to maintain her liberty, in 1158 the war among the two cities finishes and in the essay of peace, Castiglione and Barga, the two more important free Communes of the Garfagnana hocked him not to intervene in case of a new conflict, thing that didn't happen, the castiglionesi in 1168 again fought the powerful Lucca helping the army of Pisa, the revenge lucchese didn't delay, two years after the army of Lucca of the district S.Pietro and S.Gervasio under the command of Baradrigo of the surname of the noble "Children of Ubaldo", after having devastated the other rebellious earths that had found along their walk, they reached Castiglione where she was barricaded with its men, the head of the revolt "Veltro from Corvaia", the lucchesi besieged and they conquered the castle, "Veltro from Corvaia" he was killed and the castle was completely destroyed, Lucca two years later granted to the castiglionesis the permission to rebuild the castle and for power to check this important fortification of the Garfagnana, imposed better the nomination of a mayor of her pleasure. 
To the beginning of 1200 the emperor Ottone, layings again Lucca to the dependences of the empire, freeing the Communes of the lucchesia from the oath of fidelity done for Lucca, Castiglione thinking about escaping from the dominion lucchese, in the 1226 churches help to his old allies, the pisani immediately sent some soldiers in the castle and the castiglionesi they tried to organize in Garfagnana  an alliance against Lucca, the conspiracy organized by a certain Rolando is discovered and the lucchesis sent the army to take revenge and they again besieged the castle, after six days of hard fights they conquered it and they hung the head of the revolt and they burned the houses of the castle and the near countries, included the small castle of Verrucchia (or Verrucchio), built near the place of Valbona. 
In 1230 the castle was reconstructed, after some years Lucca got from the emperor Federico II the imperial investiture on the Garfagnana and finally becomes owner of the Garfagnana, to administer this vast region the uniforms in Vicarie and Castiglione Garfagnana the most important Vicaria of the Valley of the Serchio became.
To the beginning of the 1310 Arrigo IV of Luxemburg granted the city of Lucca to "Spinetta the Great one" and some earths of the Vicaria of Castiglione were inserted in the Vicaria of Camporgiano (feud of Spinetta), it began so for the Vicarie of the Garfagnana one turbulent period, the sudden death of Castruccio Castracane provoked a wave of chaos, Lucca was found in sale to the best bidder, in the 1356 Castiglione become dominion in Pisa assaulted vewnne and conquered by the children of Castruccio, Arrigo and Valleriano but not riusrirono to enter the central fortitude, informed Pisa of the assault it sent in help her army, Remanno Brancaleone with an armed with 700 soldiers to horse and 6000 infantrymen, when it arrived to the castle, he forced  brothers Antelmineli to the escape on the mountains.
On April 8 1369 Lucca after having paid centomila gold florins to Charles IV regained his/her liberty and his/her earths, March 10 th 1371 thanks to the mediation of the Bishop of Siena Jacopo de Malavolti, in the castle of Castiglione peace was signed between Lucca and the Antelminellis and other noble garfagnini, Lucca reentered in possession of Castiglione in 1371, strengthened it with a surrounded building more strong and with a series of towers, realizing the fortification that anchors today we can admire. 
In the XV century Lucca commanded by Paul Guinigi, reopened the war with Florence, the Florentines camped to Barga they again tried to appropriate of the Garfagnana but this time many castles of the Garfagnana to escape the continuous lootings and armed clashes among the two factions, they asked protection to the Marquis of Ferrara Niccol III of Este, the Florentines with a part of the army they assaulted the castle of Castiglione, the castiglionesi organized a strong resistance and the Florentines they were forced to send some reinforcements, raced in them help " Bernardino Ubaldino della Carda, ", father of the Duke of Urbino that with 2000 pedestrians and 800 soldiers to horse and when it arrived to the castle, to Lucca a conspiracy organized by Pietro Cena me and Lawrence Buonvisi, sent away Paul Guinigi from Lucca, to the castiglionesi known what happened to avoid the worse, didn't remain anything else other than to surrender him and to swear fidelity to the Florentines.
The Florentine dominion on Castiglione lasted three years, then thanks to a series of war events developed him out of its confinements, April 10 th 1433 thanks to the peace stipulated among the Duke of Milan (allied to lucca) and Venice (allied to Florence) Castiglione again became dominion of Lucca. 
After one period of relative calm, with the beginning of the XVII century for Castiglione was reopened another period of wars and suffering that will extend him for about 18 years, in 1602 apparently for futile motives but in reality for ambition of conquest, the Duke Alfonso declares war to the city of Lucca, after having sent the general Ippolito Bentivoglio to Castelnuovo with 12000 men, he ordered to the soldiers of Lucca, to abandon the Garfagnana, Lucca through the mountains of the Sillico sent 200 soldiers of reinforcement to Castiglione under the command of Jacopo Lucchesini and during the siege it also sent some troops to devastate the castles of Cascio and Molazzana, forcing the Bentivoglio to send in them help a part of the busy soldiers in the siege, despite this the castle constantly suffered a violent assault and the castiglionesi under the draught of the artillery estense, they succeeded in withstanding replying to every attack,
Lucca in the meantime fearing the worse turned to the Count of Fuentes Governatore in Milan for the King of Spain Phillip III, the Fuentes it ordered to the contenders the suspension of the war and on August 8 to the presence of his envoy the Ricco captain the two parts they signed the peace. 
After a series of skirmishes among the two factions, one year later in relighted Garfagnana him the war and on May 22 the Bentivoglio again besieged Castiglione and this time the castle bombarded by an imposing fire of artillery it risked to fall, Lucca by now resigned to lose his/her castle again asked help to the Governor of Milan, the castiglionesi despite the great difficulty in which were found they succeeded in withstanding ("Castrum Leonis" the castle of the lions, as the Romans defined him in the distant 180 a.C.) up to the intervention of the Fuentes, that once more he forced the parts to depose the weapons October 19 th 1604. In 1613, later almost ten years of peace the two factions, again entered war, this time the Duke Alfonso together with the Bentivoglio sent the two Principles Alfonso and Luigi, Castiglione defended by 1200 soldiers to the orders of Caesar Buonvisi once more he was besieged and hammered by the artillery estense, Lucca again he asked for the intervention of the Governor of Milan, the Count "of the Inoiosa", nomination intermediary the Count Baldassarre Biglia, the two factions didn't find the accord, the Count of the definite Inoiosa to stop the hostilities commands to the "Biglia" to enter Castiglione and to hoist on the bastions the flags of the King of Spain, declaring Castiglione earth of King Filippo III, the estensis not to incur in a greater war, they abdicate the decisive assault and August 27 th 1618 to Vienna they sign the peace with Lucca, Castiglione returned under the protection lucchese and since then the country shared the fates of Lucca. Visiting the suburb today we can always admire the five thick towers, of the Brunella, of the clock, of the Factors, of S.Michele and of S.Pietro and two ancient Romanesque churches, S.Michele (XIII century) and S.Pietro (VIII century).
 
Photo Castiglione Garfagnana
 
Photo Country   n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5 - n6 - n7 - n8 - n9 - n10 - n11  
Ancient coats of arms  n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5
Medieval bridge of the "Molino"
The castle of Castiglione Garfagnana
The fortress of Castiglione GarfagnanaSince the day of his/her foundation the castle of Castiglione Garfagnana covered an important role in the Valley of the Serchio, built above a high ground it posts to the feet of the Appennino and along an ancient street of pass, that through the "Footstep of the Roots" it united the Val of Serchio with the north Italy through the Emilia, the castle he was used for checking the Garfagnana. 
The first fortification "Castra" she was probably erected by the Liguri-Apuani to defense of a them "Vicus", with I arrive it of the Romans in Garfagnana this primitive fortification it was theater of violent armed clashes, here the Liguri before being overpowered forced the Romans to more than a military consignment, the consul Quinto Marcio Filippo in the 186 a.C. it suffered an awful defeat and some years after the Consul Claudio Marcello he succeeded in having the best, only after a series of violent clashes, the heat and the tenacity of the Liguri hocked in the struggle, will bring the Romans to call the castle "Castrum Leonis" the castle of the lions. 
In Byzantine epoch, Narsete after having defeated the Goths from the region (V century), to protect the earths just freed, definite to leave four Byzantine garrisons to watch of the Garfagnana and among these castles also chose the "Castrum Castilione", further sign of importance of the castle.With the burst of the wars of the XII century, for the castle it began a sad series of sieges, among the most important assaults that it suffered, they are to remember those served as the army of Lucca (1170 - 1230), the first great enemy of the castle that in the XIV century will become his most trusted allied, the lucchesi, in 1371, they built some new boundaries of the castle, defended from numerous towers that the lucchesi realized for its defense, to the beginning of 1600 the new defenses will save the castle for three times 1602, 1603 and 1613 from the sieges of the estensi. 
Despite the numerous battles fought under her boundaries today we can always admire the structure of the castle.
 
Photo castle
 
Boundaries of the castle  n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5 - n6 - n7 - n8 - n9 - n10 - n11 - n12 - n13 - n14 - n15 - n16 - n17 - n18
 
Hands Bridge Drawbridge n1 - n2       New Door            The Fortress   n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5 - n6 - n7 - n8 - n9 - n10
The towers of the castle
Tower of the Brunella Tower of the Tower Tower of the Fattori Tower of S.Michele
Tower of  S.Pietro Entry Tower of the Torricella Tower of the Belvedere Tower of the Fondaccio
The churches of Castiglione Garfagnana
S.Michele
Church of S.Michele
The church of S.Michele was built in unknown epoch, after that of S.Pietro, she is quoted for the first time together with that of S.Pietro, in the Bolla Gold of Pope Alessandro III sent forth by Benevento December 23 rd 1168. 
During the sieges estensi of the castle to the beginning of 1600, the church remained involved and damaged more than once, in the 1603 siege its bells were melted, to realize a piece of artillery that will be called the "Bertone" and on June 20 the artillery estense demolished its bell tower. 
The church during the centuries has been restructured a lot of times, in the XV century was reconstructed and it got (after S.Pietro) the concession of the Baptismal Source, its faade also realized with the characteristic said marble "The red Collemandina), coming from the caves of Sassorosso, introduces on the door of the figures from the mysterious meaning.
 
 
Photo Church S.Michele n1 - n2 - n3 - n4 - n5 - n6 - n7
S.Pietro
Church of  S.Pietro
The bell tower of S.Pietro
The church of S.Pietro is the most ancient church of the country, the first news goes up again to the time of the kingdom of King Lutiprando, in 723 the Bishop of Lucca Thalesperiano asked to the two brothers "Aurimando" and "Gandefrido", founders of the church of S.Pietro to give to the church some of their good, for creae an income that was subsequently increased in 768 by the Rector of that period, after Thousand the church was rebuilt and consecrated by the Bishop Guido III January 18 th 1197, as it still points out an existing headstone,
in 1391 the church of S.Pietro, had jurisdiction on the church of S.Michele, the church of S.Bartolomeo (Chiozza) and that of the SS.Jacopos and Cristofero of the castle of Verrucchio (Valbona).
The church to its inside preserves, a "Paliotto of the Madonna of the Seven Pains" a work of scagliola of the teacher Carlo Gibertoni, recently restored thanks to the interest of the "Lions Club Garfagnana", its bell tower that during the sieges of Castiglione more than once it played the alarm and the gatherings of the defenders, he was reconstructed in 1837 on the homonym tower

 

 

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