Castello di Paternò

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Documentary evidence informs, by means of Goffredo Malaterra , about the construction, around the second half of the XI century dC , of a "castrum" in Paternò, according to the will of the great count Ruggero d'Altavilla , the same will name that he had built defensive purpose the castles of Adrano, Motta, Troina, Nicosia and others in many areas of the island.

In reality an advanced hypothesis from the Giuseppe Agnello scholar, he would see in the current fortress only a subsequent rebuilding according to the will of the emperor Federico II of Swabia , although this theory can not be found no feedback on a documentary or stylistic / constructive basis.

That the castle may be from the Norman period reveal the structural similarity with similar fortifications of Normandy and Normandy England (see for example the image in the photo gallery of the castle of Threave in Scotland), in addition to the presence of wall paintings in the chapel inside the building and dating between XII and the XIII century AD From an Arab historian, al-Muqaddasi, it is learned that the village pre-existed to the fortress during the X century AD The Arabian geographer Idrisi , in 1150 , describes Paternò as "Hisn". In 1212 and in 1252 documents refer to the inhabited area of ​​Paternò as "terra e castrum".

Returning to the Benedictine monk's statements Goffredo Malaterra , the castle of Paternò would thus arise on some remains of an Arab construction built by the Muslim emirate of the era for defensive purposes. Goffredo Malaterra was always in the wake of Altavilla with the task of not only collecting and divulging the deeds, but also because Ruggero noted the need to contrast the now present Arab element, the Christian culture. In fact he saw the birth of religious communities to reaffirm the Christian cult . In a world where wars and riots, violence and corruption were raging, the Benedictine monastery developed a new model of society, where instead of the concept of private property and privilege Christian fraternal solidarity took over. In fact, in Paternò there were several monasteries (S. Leone, S. Vito and S. Nicolò l'Arena).

In time the Norman castle had not only a defensive function but also administrative and residential. Many of the historical figures that have inhabited it the most famous is Frederick II of Swabia that you stay in 1221 and 1223 . The castle was then the home of the queen Eleonora D'Aragona on the death of Frederick II of Aragon in 1337. It later became the home of the Bianca di Navarra queen who in 1405 from the Norman castle promulgated the "Consuetudini della Paternò community". The castle finally passed then to the Moncada family, a dynasty that ruled the city for four centuries and which used it for periods of public prisons . Some graffiti are the sad testimony. Currently it is under the protection of the Sicily Region in the hope of transforming it into the civic civic museum.

Le mete in Sicilia