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Colle di Mattarella – Castle

Italia, Regione Piemonte, provincia del Verbano Cusio Ossola, Domodossola

Positioning

Colle di Mattarella

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   5529615 N   -3004906 H  
(WGS 84) Long.   46.100 Lat.   8.280
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY
INTERESSE CONTESTUALE Naturalistic, Landscape, Archaeological, Historical, Architectural
Didactic, Hiking
ARCHAEOSITE   fortification structure

DESCRIPTION

The Colle di Mattarella (Mattarella Hill) area features a complex historical stratification, revealing traces of a pre-proto-historic presence (inscribed rocks, Iron Age finds), followed by a Late Roman and Early Middle Ages period (Early Christian inscription). The Medieval and Renaissance epochs are testified to by the remains of a castle and religious buildings which are still partially visible. After having been abandoned for a period, in the seventeenth century the hill became the centre of a Sacro Monte (Sacred Mountain), with a Sanctuary and Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) with chapels. The Rosminian Fathers have been on the hill since 1828, with their Monastery and adjoining gardens, while the historical area and the surrounding countryside form the Piedmont Region Special Nature Reserve.

INSIGHT

The “Colle” area features a complex historical stratification, revealing traces of a pre-proto-historic presence (inscribed rocks, Iron Age finds), followed by a Late Roman and Early Middle Ages period (Early Christian inscription). The Medieval and Renaissance epochs are testified to by the remains of religious buildings, and of a castle which stood on the summit of the hill, overlooking the Piana Ossolana. The Sacro Monte complex, still partially visible, was subsequently built on top of these ruins (1656-57). The Castle probably dates back to the tenth to eleventh centuries, although its origins as a fortified site may date back to the Byzantine or Lombard eras. The transformation into Sacro Monte, and the subsequent restructuring work on the remains of the original castle, took place in the seventeenth century. The square keep has three stories, in addition to the basement, which later became a water storage tank. The attics no longer exist, but a staircase was added leading up the inside walls of the building to the top, where a walkway was constructed overlooking the Ossola. The only remaining part of the entire fortified compound is a long curtain wall section with 21 arches resting on pilasters and two ravelins equipped with storm drains, and a section of crenellated masonry which crowned the highest part of the enclosure. The entrance to the keep lies on the east side, at ground level, and is currently reached through a small courtyard surrounded by high walls with embrasures (added at a later date, perhaps in the thirteenth century). This level also has two windows: The north side has a window seat built as a type of double lancet with a monolithic column in the middle, and the south side has a window which is similar but rather high from the floor. The stone used to construct the building is granite mined from an open quarry located on the Hill itself, not far from the Castle.

scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

TO LEARN MORE

ANDENNA G. (1980), "Per un censimento dei castelli, in Novara e la sua terra nei secoli XI e XII storia documenti e architettura", a cura di M.L. Tomea Gavazzoli, Novara;
ANDENNA G. (1982), "Andar per castelli da Novara tutto intorno", Torino;
BERTAMINI T. (1980), "Il Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola", in "Oscellana" X, 2, pp. 57-120;
BERTAMINI T. (2000), "Il Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola", Domodossola;
BERTAMINI T. (2005), “Cronache del Castello di Mattarella. Storia della val d'Ossola dalle origini al XV secolo", Domodossola;
CERUTTI M. C., ROSSI R. (2007), “Torri e castelli in Valdossola”, Domodossola, pp. 69-74;
COPIATTI F., DE GIULI A., (1997), “Sentieri antichi. Itinerari archeologici nel Verbano, Cusio, Ossola”, Domodossola, pp. 105, 107-109, 112;
CONTI F. (1975), “Castelli del Piemonte. Novara e Vercelli”, vol. I, Milano;
NIGRA C. (1937), "Torri castelli e caseforti del Piemonte dal 1000 al secolo XVI", vol. I Il Novarese;
SEREN ROSSO R., "I Castelli del Piemonte. Le Province di Novara e del Verbano Cusio Ossola", Torino.

http://www.sacromontedomodossola.it/

www.sacromontecalvario.it

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Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
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