History

Castello di Artegna

The origin of the current Castle, also called “Castelletto”, is closely linked to the history of another castle, the oldest and most impressive, which stood on top of the hill. Over the centuries, the Fort complex, located on top of the hill, went through a great deal of changes due to both family and military events; it was eventually demolished and razed between the late 14th and early 15th century. During the 13th century the Lords of Artegna began the construction of a building, expanding and transforming the structures located at the entrance (wall and Watchtower). There arose what is now called castrum inferius or castelletto, given its small size compared to the upper Castle. This new complex, whose load-bearing wall and tower are the oldest parts, became the place of residence of the Lords of Artegna, probably in the second half of the 13th century. It remained property of this lineage until 1384, when the last male descendant of the main branch of the family died. The castelletto was thus inherited, through the female hereditary line, by the Savorgnano family. The current owner, Count Bonati Savorgnan of Osoppo, has granted it on an extended loan to the municipality of Artegna. This landmark building is part of a broader fortified complex (not visible anymore), which developed for essentially defensive needs with strategic-protective function. The castle is all that still remains of that extensive fortified complex, the last witness to those ancient settlements. Although more recent, it was built and enlarged following the changes and structural extensions of the castle on the Hill of St.Martino and was then kept coexisting, initially, with those structures up to being the only surviving section. The earthquake of May 6th, 1976 greatly damaged the Castle, thus marking the first phase of the most complete ruin due to the subsequent intense shakes of September of the same year. The effects of the earthquake were increased by the discontinuity of the soil on which the Castelletto is placed. The recovery and refurbishment work has been carried out for a long time, and, despite being interrupted several times for lack of funds, it was completely concluded in 2013. The Castle, restored with public funds, was officially inaugurated in February 2014 and given back in its entirety to the community of Artegna. After decades of inactivity the Castle and the Hill are finally accessible and recovered, intended to play a central role in the development of cultural, historical, artistic and educational projects, with positive consequences for the whole territory.