Il lascito di un maestro. Architettura fortificata nel Regno di Sicilia: dal castello ad ali svevo al donjon capetingio

Author: Pio Francesco Pistilli

A teacher’s Legacy. Fortified Architecture in the Kingdom of Sicily: from the Swabian Winged Castle to the Capetian Donjon

Antonio Cadei’s contribution to studies of residential and military architecture in Southern Ita­ly has focused primarily on castles and domus with a square layout with wings. He provided new references to the patronage of Frederick II, showing the relationship with Holy Land and Western Europe. He drew a distinction between ‘perfect castra’ and ‘imperfect castra’, identifying the former with Sicilian castles (Si­racusa, Augusta, Catania) and the latter with Apulian ones (Bari, Trani, Brindisi).
The aim of the paper is to shed light on the role of Riccardo da Lentini, Frederick’s prepositus novorum hedificiorum in Ionic Sicily. Documentary evidences attest him as supervising the erection of castles in the eastern part of the isle from 1239 to 1240. According to another piece of evidence, he was also involved in the construction of Prato castle in 1246. The paper will focus on the main characteristics of his planning and their spreading to low-Adriatic lands (Lucera, Castel del Monte) up to central and northern Italy during 1240s.