Castello aragonese - Ortona (Ch)
The imposing castle, situated on a high promontory overlooking the sea, towers the coast of Ortona. Though the presence of a fortress is documented as from the Angevin age, the building of the present structure started only when the dynasty of Aragon ascended the power, that is in the mid fifteenth century or a short time later. As a consequence of the landing of Venetian plunderers and the subsequent sack in 1447, it was decided to build a new fortress. The castle had functioned for the entire sixteenth century when the port was move to south; therefore it gradually lost its pivotal role and was completely abandoned in the eighteenth century, so it did not have any part in driving back the French assault at the end of the century.
In the thirties of the fifteenth century, the new feudal overlord Giacomo Caldora ordered the building of further walls, which enclosed the castle and connected it to the town. Nevertheless the fortress has kept up until now the structure which the lords of Aragon had chosen for it. As shown in the so called "Augustinian" map dated 1583, the main feature of the edifice is its pentagonal plan, which makes of it a massive block interrupted by circular fortified towers on high scarp. The structure of the castle belongs therefore to the military typology of the second half of the XV century, intended to resist to firearms.
Partially damaged by a landslide in 1946, it has recently been restored and reinforced.
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