Castello Piccolomini - Celano (AQ)
The Castle is majestic and does not go unnoticed by those who travel the highway from Rome to Chieti-Pescara.
Unlike other castles completed in the Renaissance, where the military, defensive nature, is softened and smoothed thanks to the circular-shaped bastions, this castle strikes because of the almost monolithic structure that stands on the top of Celano, a perfect aggregate of volumes in quadrangular section, with straight lines and sharp corners. On the summit, at the sides of the central block with a square plan, the four towers are perfectly aligned towards the cardinal points and emerge from the string course. On the contrary the cylindrical towers that once belonged to a town wall are decentralized.
The town wall is little recognizable today, because it is hidden by the buildings built along the slopes of the high ground from where you can see the Fucino basin, the huge lake dried up and transformed into agricultural lands. The plant of the castle shows a clear medieval origin, with the typical merlons, but it was completed after the middle of the 15th century, in full Renaissance. After passing the ancient drawbridge and climbing the stairs that crosses the lists, you can enter through the main door and have a the pleasant meeting with a different atmosphere, in much lighter and more elegant dimension. Suddenly the severe and majestic defensive curtain made of stone makes way for the amazing scenography that surrounds the central courtyard where a balanced loggia, with round arches, supported by light Renaissance columns is superimposed to the gothic arches of the lower order.
On the capitals we find the crescent moon sickles, symbol of the Piccolomini family, originally from Siena and made even more powerful by the ascent of Enea Silvio to the papal throne in 1458 well-known as Pio the 2nd , a patron pope, fond of humanistic culture. In the Marsica, a rugged but strategic land, his nephew Antonio Todeschini Piccolomini took up his residence in Celano, in the castle overlooking the Fucino, which was still a lake, when Ferrante d’Aragona, King of Naples, appointed him Count, and gave him the hand of his natural daughter Maria. The eminent couple carried on the construction works begun in 1392 by the previous masters, the Berardi Counts of Celano, and continued around the middle of the 15th century at the time of Covella and Lionello Acclozamora.
The castle of Celano was enriched with a section dedicated to a famous archaeological collection. The Ministry of Cultural Heritage had in fact purchased from the heirs Alessandro Torlonia, who had the Fucino dried up in 1875, finds of great value discovered at the time of this exceptional undertaking. After the earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009, the museum has changed its aspect. The new arrangement of the works of art, does not overload the wonderful space, indeed it aims to emphasize the temporary collocation of the masterpieces, arranged in the rooms with lightness, to arouse the pleasure of the visitor who, helped by a clear educational apparatus, feel always at ease. Once removed the heavy curtains and applied protective films to window panes, it is possible to enjoy the view of the amazing landscape
traduzione a cura del Polo Museale d'Abruzzo opuscolo Castello Piccolomini di Celano
0863 792922 (uffici); +39 0863 793730 (portineria)