This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
In order to understand this 18th century palace, a 3-minute-drive is required 🚗 A stone’s throw from here you’ll find the ruins of a much older castle – it’s lone tower overgrown and surrounded by foliage – it was once the only remains of the Castelmur family in the mountainous region. All that changed, however, with two descendants bringing the family back to its roots.
While fortifications have stood on this route since Roman times, records point to the Castelmurs ruling the area as far back as the 12th Century. With it’s natural defensive position, it was a solid fortification protecting trade in the area, though it didn’t help Albertus Castelmur when he stole cattle from a rival family and was conquered in 1268. Over the centuries, the castle would continue to go in and out of Castelmur family control, eventually falling to ruin in the 16th Century.
Purchasing the Palazzo Castle in 1850 must have felt like a homecoming to Baron Giovanni de Castelmur and his wife Anna—as they were cousins. Due to an extremely successful pastry business in Marseille, the couple decided to return to the area their family had once ruled.
Taking great pride in their home turf, they restored the old Castlemur Castle ruins, extended the newer palazzo, and rebuilt the Nossa Dona church within the castle walls based off of excavated foundations.
Though previous generations had lost the area to force, the modern descendants would give it to the surrounding region peacefully. Relatives to the Baron and Anna would sell the palazzo to the local government in 1961, where it now holds a museum recounting the legacy of the family that after many centuries finally came home.
Written by: Seamus McMahon
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