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Strassoldo di Sopra Castle

a thousand years of history to discover in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
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Strassoldo di Sopra Castle

The original Strassoldo Castle was built more than a thousand years ago along the ancient Via Julia Augusta, the Roman road that led from Aquileia to Norico. An ancient document speaks of the existence of a fortress in this place as early as 530 and initially there was, therefore, only one manor, known as "the two towers". A few centuries later two separate castles were built, each around one of the original towers, one of which still exists, incorporated into the central palace of the Castello di Sopra. Each of the castle complexes is composed of a main body, surrounded by its own village formed by houses once used for administrative and agricultural use and by a park.

The village has developed over the centuries outside the Castrensi walls. The two castles were surrounded by a double wall with several doors. Today, some parts of the external walls remain, in correspondence with the Porta Cisis which introduces the Castello di Sotto complex and with Porta Cistigna, the large arch which introduces the Castello di Sopra complex. There is also a part of the internal walls and precisely the Gironutto and the Pusterla del Casetello di Sotto. The rest of the internal walls, after various destructions, was used as a foundation for several buildings, such as those behind the church of San Nicolò.

The Strassoldo, therefore, divided into "those of Above" and "those of Below" and were one of the first families of free feudal lords, who settled in this area before 1077, the year of the formalization of the temporal power of the Patriarchate of Aquileia . The Strassoldo defended this territory on behalf of the Saxon emperors, from whom they had feuds in payment.

The manors were the subject of complex political-military events.

In 1381 they were seriously damaged by the militias of the Patriarch of Aquileia, Filippo d'Alençon; in 1499 they were touched by Turkish raids, to resist which it was further equipped with walls and towers. Later they were ruined by the imperial armies in 1509, when they were attacked by the troops belonging to the League of Cambrai, squeezed between imperial and papacy against the republic of Venice.

Towards the middle of the eighteenth century both castles of Strassoldo underwent important restorations, to the works of the brothers Nicolò (for the castle of Sotto) and Giuseppe (for the castle of Sopra), configuring themselves as it can currently be appreciated: a suggestive example of a fortified complex transformed into two noble residences, full of memories and immersed in the peace of centuries-old parks, lapped by two rivers of resurgence.

EXTERNAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CASTLE OF ABOVE

(Parts owned by the Strassoldo family are highlighted in bold)

The complex of the Castello di Sopra begins with the great arch of the ancient one Porta Cistigna, located on the external walls that leads into the cobbled street of the Borgo Vecchio. On the left, stands a medieval wall which delimits a pratone intended for parcheggio and on the left are a series of ancient stone buildings that form a linear whole. The lower ones were used as Case degli Armigeri, while the tallest one was there Vicinìa, an ancient administrative center and for a certain period also a court for minor causes.The Castle of Strassoldo di Sopra and its Borgo Vecchio developed around the ancient Ottonian tower.

Proceeding south you arrive at the Correct, a low passage arch with windows, which connects the main palace of the castle to the church of S. Nicolò. The latter was the noble church of the manor of Sopra. Since at the end of the eighteenth century the original church of the town (Santa Maria in Vineis) had become too small for the population, the ancestors of the current owner enlarged their chapel, changing the direction of the apse, enriching it and making it available to the town, donating at the same time 60 fields and the widows' house, which became the rectory. The property passed to the church only in 1938.

Note: In order to raise awareness that respect for historical heritage is essential in a civil society, due to its high social and cultural value and its positive impact on the economy, if properly valued, it should be noted that the ceiling and the external walls of the church of San Nicolò was finally restored in 2020. Unfortunately, the interiors have been considerably ugly and neglected. The ancient eighteenth-century benches, the pulpit and many furnishings, probably ended up in the hands of some antique dealers, have been removed. The pictorial parts were partially covered and that the rectory was sadly defaced both internally and externally by interventions commissioned by incompetent people.

Il correct enters on castle square, where the church of San Nicolò (suitably turned on the occasion of the great eighteenth-century restoration) is placed in front of the facade of main body of the castle. There square of the castle is embellished by a gravel area, a parterre of boxwoods, ivy and lawn, a series of stone columns, large terracotta vases full of flowers, an ancient stone pavement and beautiful white stone benches.

The main body rests on the Ottonian tower, which was lowered by two floors for static reasons in the mid-nineteenth century, following a strong earthquake with its epicenter in Ljubljana, whose effects were also felt in Strassoldo.

On the back of the main body extends the park of the castle.

On the back of the church of San Nicolò are placed in a semicircle, on the remains of the inner wall of the castle, there are the buildings once used as Stables, Casa degli artigiani, Granaries and Chancellery. On the back of the chancellery the large green area of ​​the Brolo (ancient vegetable garden and orchard), today transformed into a suggestive garden, surrounded by water, with a beautiful circular stone fountain, a jardin verger, roses of various species, shrubs and trees and steps leading into the water.

Proceeding further south, you arrive at the Rice pileria and, immediately after, al canal bridgeand of the Pileria, which leads into the area of ​​the castle of Sotto, whose conformation resembles that of the castle of Sopra, as it is formed by a main body behind which there is a large park and the countryside and by houses that once they were used for agricultural and administrative purposes. The two castles always belong to the Strassoldo-Graffemberg family, even if the relationship between the current owners is long gone.

INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CASTLE OF ABOVE:

The main building of the Castello di Sopra is made up of numerous halls full of family memories, precisely because history has never stopped here.

On the ground floor we find the typical Friulian kitchen, with checkered floor, sparherd, bread oven, smokehouse and stone sink. Next to it, the entrance hall, which overlooks the vast terrace of the garden and the viceroy's sitting room. Further on, the guard room and the vaulted cellar located on the ground floor of the tower.

To access the noble floor, go up a solemn stone staircase to find on one side the Salone degli Imperatori, so called for the paintings with portraits of Roman emperors that adorn the walls and on the other the Hall of the Coat of Arms, the Sala della Stufa and the Governor's Hall.

Elegantly furnished and heated by fireplaces and ancient stoves, the rooms are decidedly suggestive, with precious wooden floors and ceilings and walls, partly frescoed, embellished with ancient paintings, including a large family tree of the family. Recent investigations show that all the walls of the main floor show XNUMXth century frescoes, preserved under layers of XNUMXth and XNUMXth century painting.

It is possible to rent:
The main body of the Strassoldo di Sopra castle and its centuries-old park, for refined and suggestive events.
The chancellery of the castle with its garden for more informal events.

Heart of an ancient medieval village, the Castle is surrounded by centuries-old gardens, furrowed by crystalline courses of spring water.

Here history has never stopped and the manor has always been inhabited by the same family who had it built more than a thousand years ago, counts of the SRI of Strassoldo, for this reason it retains a un