Castle of Cefalù

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The Castle of Cefalù is one of the most important monuments that can be seen when visiting the Rocca. Due to its position, in the past it played a fundamental role in the defense of the medieval town of Cefalù. Today it is an extraordinary panoramic point over the whole Gulf of Cefalù.

The history of Cefalù Castle

The history of the Castle of Cefalù has been reconstructed mainly thanks to historical sources and to the information obtained from the excavations carried out since 1989. The building dates back to the 12th century, in fact around 1050 the Arab geographer Al Idrisi speaks of Cefalù as a bisn, that is a “city-like fortress”, and also reports the existence of a fortress. During the Frederickian period, the castle was extensively renovated, only to be destroyed at the end of the 13th century, probably by fire. The castle was used throughout the 14th and 15th centuries and then underwent extensive reconstruction between the 16th and 17th centuries. The arrangement of the fortified access to the castle also dates from the mid-16th century. From the middle of the 16th century to the 18th century, the castle and its walls appear on maps in the iconography of the period. The total abandonment of the site probably began in the 19th century.

The architecture of the castle

The Castle of Cefalù is located on the top of the Rocca, which dominates the town at about 270 meters above sea level. Its position made it an ideal fortress to repel attacks from the sea. The castle was also protected by a double line of walls, the so-called megalithic walls. A lower line of walls protected the town center, while an upper line surrounded the entire top of the fortress. The plan of the building was almost pentagonal, with a square tower on the east side and one on the north side. Inside, about ten rooms have been identified, arranged to the north and south of a kind of narrow courtyard, oriented in east-west direction.

Visiting Cefalù Castle: how to get there, times and prices

The Castle of Cefalù, together with the Temple of Diana, is one of the most important attractions you can visit in the Rock of Cefalù. The monument is located about 500 meters from the start of the route and can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. The climb to the top of the Rocca is almost entirely in the sun. It is therefore recommended to avoid it during the summer months and in any case during the hottest hours of the day. The entrance to the Rocca of Cefalù is in Salita Saraceni street and the ticket costs 5 euros. However, there are discounts for children from 6 to 14 years, the over 65s and teachers, the cost is 2.50 euros. The route is open every day of the year. From April to October, visits are allowed from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with last access at 7:00 p.m. From November to March, visits are allowed from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with last access at 3:00 p.m.

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