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Govone's Castle

Category: Sightseeing

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ITALY

The castle stands in a dominant position on a narrow spur of limestone, right above Finalborgo, the historic capital of the Del Carretto marquisate of Finale. Its powerful structure was made up of a tall and sturdy set of walls, defended at the corners by four cylindrical towers and surrounded by a wide external moat. The main gate was located on the southeast side, with a covered passageway and drawbridge. The bailey was dominated by the polygonal keep, now half-destroyed, protected by the celebrated Torre del Diamante, on a curved triangular plan with the two visible sides built out of rusticated Finale stone. The castle, probably built on the vestiges of older defense works, was founded in 1186 and devastated several times by the Genoese. In 1452 Marchese Giovanni Del Carretto had it rebuilt, at the same time as the towered walls of Finalborgo, turning it into a Renaissance court. At the end of the sixteenth century, the castle (and the marquisate) was conquered by the Spanish under Philip II, who made it a bridgehead in their conflict with the duchy of Milan. In 1707 the Spanish possessions of the Finale region passed to Austria, which sold them to Genoa ?for one million two hundred thousand scudi of five lire.? Like Castelfranco, Castel Gavone was dismantled in 1715: only the Torre del Diamante was spared and still looms among the ruins. The extremely picturesque setting, the suggestive power of the place and the buildings and the host of historical memories associated with it make a visit to the site one of the most interesting in the entire region.



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