Castiglione del Lago

Lion Rock (Rocca del Leone)

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Mazzini 10 - 06061 Castiglione del Lago
info@iat.castiglione-del-lago.pg.it

The Lion Rock (Rocca del Leone in Italian) dominates the eastern part of the inland of Castiglione del Lago town, which juts out into Lake Trasimeno. 


The influence of the center's construction has determined also probably the origin of its name, through a process of fusion of sounds from the original name of the castle, the Lion Castle, Castillonem, then Castiglione. The current structure of the fortress has the shape of an irregular pentagon with crenellated walls Guelph, with the main angles defended by four towers; an imposing triangular keep (more than 30 meters high) is located inside the city walls.
The works on its construction were undertaken at the beginning of the twelfth century, when Frederick II of Swabia was Emperor,  to insert it in the central defensive system that, starting from Puglia, crossed the whole Italy. During the war between Perugia and Arezzo that took place at the end of 1100, the existing Lion's Castle was brought to ruin by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and during 1297 the Perugia prosecutors decided to fortify the town and to build a fortress inside the castle.
The interventions made possible the realization of the formidable fortress.
During the '300 new interventions were taken by Brother Elia Coppi from Cortona and by the Sienese Lorenzo Maitani. Like all the strategically important castles, it suffered several attacks during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries all over, until Giampaolo Baglioni established there his residence in 1503, then arranging for the restoration and expansion of the complex.
It was raised a further stretch of wall, currently still visible, which left the Palace and arrived near the Keep; It had an access system consisting of wooden stairs resting on the landings that, in case of attack, were withdrawn.
The additional actions and the internal system at the Keep made it to consider one of the most difficult European castles of the '500 to conquer.
In 1550, Pope Julius III promoted the site at Marquis jurisdiction and delivering it to his sister and his nephew Ascanio The Della Corgna.
In 1554 Ascanio I set up a series of formal gardens within the walls and he replace two cylindrical towers with battlements, as the round surface giving increased security after the appearance of the guns; also he set up his mansion designed by Vignola, restoring fourteenth-century buildings.
Until the death of Fulvio II , in 1647, the castle has been owned by the same family; then it came under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Chamber and since 1860 was owned by the town of Castiglione del Lago.

 

Bibliography
AA. VV. (1992), Guide De Agostini – UMBRIA, Novara, Istituto Geografico De Agostini
AA.VV. (2004), Umbria - Piccoli Centri della Provincia di Perugia, Cannara (PG), Arti Grafiche Antica Porziuncola
Amoni D. (2000), Castelli Fortezze e Rocche dell'Umbria, Ponte S. Giovanni (PG), Quattroemme