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The Castle

THE HISTORY

The Castle The Castle is located in Cividale of Friuli, extraordinary frame of historical and architectural testimonials, listed since 2011 in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its priceless Lombard inheritance, precious chest of mediaeval culture, and important location for events of international standing. Cividale del Friuli,the capital of DOC (Protected Designation of Origin) wines “Colli Orientali del Friuli” (Friuli’s Oriental Hills)represents the ideal destination for the admirers of food and wine tourist itineraries.

Il Castello CanussioCanussio Castle, now restored to its ancient beauty, is located in the northern area of the city and plays an important role in brining back the Forum Iulii historical wall structure, which was build by Julius Caesar in the middle of 1st Century circa. He had chosen this city for its captivating geographical location, at the centre of an important crossroad. The Castle, which is considered the biggest of a wider architectural complex of the Late Antiquity era ( 5th-6th Century circa), belonged to the Canussion Family from the 12th to the 19th century, who sold it and then bought it back 100 years later. The archaeological excavations, initiated by the Canussio Family and under the direction of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region’s Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage, were carried out on multiple occasions from 1991 to 2000. They brought to light the 60 meters of Roman city walls structure, fortified to defend the city, which can be see in the internal rooms of the Castle through glass panes installed on the floors and

in the garden. The first of most ancient wall structure is the innermost one with a square tower, which recent studies have shown to belong to the late Republican era (1st century a.C). The following wall fortification includes the addition of two polygonal towers (the western one visible from the garden, the eastern one located inside the Castle as it also contained a water tank used until recent epoch), and is dated back to the late 5th century during the Gothic era, when Cividale gained a new strategic role and became “caput Venetiae (that is, the capital of the X Regio Venetia et Histria), as narrated by Paolo Diacono. The architectural investigations have also revealed a vast repertoire of ceramic, glass and metal artefacts from the Roman and Renaissance eras, of which 500 pieces have been showcased at the Cividale National Archaeological Museum.

The Castle is currently the Headquarters of the illustrious “Niccolò Canussio”, an internationally connected Scientific Research Institute for the Antiquity World, dedicated to “Nicolo’ Canussio”, renowned humanist and historian of Cividale of the 14th century. Author of “De Restituzione Patriae”, he wrote this book to defend the millennial accounts of Cividale city that helped it harbour one of the first universities in Italy.

TO KNOW MORE:
Per uno studio più approfondito su Castello Canussio si rimanda
alla versione elettronica dell’opuscolo a cura di Maria Visintini