San Martino Hill

History and memory of Artegna

The Artegna Castle survived many war events that characterized its construction and evolution. It is part of a larger fortified complex – Castrum Artenia as said by Paolo Diacono – which was developed for defensive needs during the Lombardic era, on the San Martino hill and the nearby Monte Faeit. Since 1260, when the Aquileia Patriarch conquered the fortress, the “castelletto” became the first inhabited nucleus of Artegna lords’ feud. A map of 1595 sets the location of buildings and appliances on the hill, which was completely surrounded by walls.

The sobriety of the simple aesthetic have always characterized the appearance of this manor. Considered the privileged location for defensive purposes, it was built as a place of guard and control over the important communication routes that crossed the plain below. The Republic of Venice, which at the fall of the Patriarchate had enlarged its jurisdiction over Friuli feuds, had not shown great interest in encouraging architectural improvements to the complex. Its current form and architecture are the result of structural renovations that the owners (Savorgnan della Bandiera, Modesti, Bonati Savorgnan d’Osoppo) brought to the castle in later periods, not without some difficulties.

The last major restoration was carried out after the catastrophic destruction occurred with the 1976 earthquake. The reconstruction and renovation works ended in 2013, carried out by the Superintendency with the help of Artegna Municipality and the current owners. Their decision to loan free of charge the castle to the Municipality gave the community the opportunity to enjoy a historical asset of great value. Currently the ground floor is used as a refreshment bar, while the upper floors host an archaeological exhibition and other exhibition spaces.

News taken from Castello di Artegna, Consortium for the safeguard of the Historic Castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia by G. Caiazza, C. Marzocco Marinig – Edizioni della Laguna

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