Castello di Lombardia
The castle's origins are related to a fortress erected in the 1st millennium BC by the Sicani at the foundation of the ancient Henna, on a hill at 970 m over the sea level. It remained a key possession in the subsequent history of the island, and the Romans were able to conquer it only by passing through its sewer network.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was used by the Byzantines and resisted for many years to the Arab assaults. After their victory, the latter refounded the fortress around the 10th century; the castle was also used by their successors in Sicily, the Normans. Two centuries later, architect Riccardo da Lentini was commissioned by Frederick II, Emperor and King of Sicily, to restore it into a summer residence. He added 20 towers and called in a garrison coming from the Langobardia minor (Calabria), whence the castle's name.
With the advent of the artillery, the castle lost its primary strategic role and was turned into a prison. Currently it houses one of the most striking theatres in Italy, the Teatro più vicino alle Stelle ("The Nearest Theatre to the Stars"), used for opera and pop music concerts.
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