Castle of Mola

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The Castle of Mola is one of the most beautiful monuments in the village of Castelmola. There is very little information about its construction, but historians think that it could date back to the Roman period. For many centuries this castle was an important line of defense for this part of Sicily. It houses a small Medieval Museum of Castelmola and is home to the International Falconry School.

History of the Mola Castle

Information about the history of the Mola Castle is very scarce. The only certain information at the moment is that contained in a plaque found on the main elevation of the Cathedral of San Nicola. There is indeed an inscription in Greek-Byzantine that reads: “This castle was built under Constantine, patrician and strategist of Sicily”. The reference seems to be to Constantine Caramalo, the last strategist of Tauromenion, ancient Taormina, who lived in the 9th century. However, many historians believe that the castle was built much earlier, in Roman times. It seems that in 1334 the castle was surrounded by walls on the initiative of King Peter of Aragon. The building was then used exclusively for defensive purposes and for holding prisoners of war. This function remained until the 16th century. In fact, the historian Fazello calls it “a refuge for malefactors and impregnable because of its natural condition”.

The architecture of the medieval castle of Castelmola

The Castle of Castelmola was for many centuries the strongest link in a chain of castles that also included those of Milazzo, Ficarra, Tripi, Castroreale, Castiglione and Francavilla. Its layout has an irregular pattern, mainly between northwest and southeast. The building is located on a rocky ridge that reaches an altitude of 530 meters. This position allowed it to control both the ancient town of Mola and the castle of Taormina on Mount Tauro. The original structure also included a surrounding wall, of which only a surface of limestone and lava blocks with terracotta tiles remains. The ancient “Porta di Mola” is located along the access staircase, originally carved into the rock. At the top you can still see the emblem of Castelmola, a castle with three towers and the inscription “Castle Faithful to His Majesty – Year 1578”. Some rooms of the castle house the Medieval Museum of Castelmola.

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