Fortress d'Aries

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The ancient Fortress d'Aries, near Montone, was built by the Fortebracci family on the remains of an ancient fort originally built to defend the early population.

Over time, the Fortress was involved in an historical sequence of events in Montone, which over the centuries took on a defensive function as well as a being a residence.  In the Sixteenth century it became independent of the Umbrian town.

Rectangular in shape with a circular tower on one side, it has been restructured several times in order to adapt for its residential purposes, while maintaining intact the sturdy fortified structure.

The earliest mention of it dates from the year 1000 and by 1376 its history began to merge with that of the Fortebracci family. In that year Oddo III, father of the famous Braccio, conquered the Fortress, bringing it under the authority of the nearby Città  di Castello.

A few years later the Perugia Magistrates, having reclaimed the property, made the decision to make Fortress d'Aries impregnable by increasing its size and making it more robust. They entrusted the work, given the scale of the project, to Oddo Fortebracci III.

The building was completed in 1380 and continued to be a source of conflict between Perugia and Citta di Castello in later years as it was considered difficult to attack.

In the fifteenth century it became the property of Braccio Fortebraccio, who in the meantime had become absolute lord of most of Umbria. His family, and in particular his wife Nicola Varano, would often stay there.

In the sixteenth century the ownership of the Fortress passed to the Bentivoglio  family. There was no mention of it until 1596, when the Fortress was attacked by six hundred bandits who terrorised Gubbio, creating untold damage throughout that period.

Meanwhile the ownership of the Fortress changed hands: the Bentivoglio family sold it for 15,000 Roman scudi to Count Giambattista Cantalmaggi, who through inheritance rights passed it to the Della Porta family.  In the 1980's it still belonged to the Della Porta family when it was sold to the Region of Umbria.

 

 

Bibliography

Amoni D. (1999), Castelli fortezze e rocche dell'Umbria, Perugia, Quattroemme.