Castello di Lombardia

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Castello di Lombardia
Enna, Sicily, Italy
Castello di Lombardia (Enna) - Panarama.jpg
View of the castle from the north-east
Castello di Lombardia is located in Sicily
Castello di Lombardia
Castello di Lombardia
Coordinates 37°34′1.2″N 14°17′16.8″E / 37.567000°N 14.288000°E / 37.567000; 14.288000
Type castle
Area 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft)
Site information
Open to
the public
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built 1076

The Castello di Lombardia ("Lombardy Castle") is a castle in Enna, Sicily. It is one of the largest and most ancient edifices in southern Italy, with an area of some 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft)


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.

Under the castle was that was the ancient Sican temple of Ceres, origin of the widespread of the cult of that goddess in the whole Italy, which was described by Cicero.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was used by the Byzantines and resisted Arab assaults for many years. 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 Richard of 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.

View of the castle's principle surviving tower from the exterior

With the advent of the artillery, the castle lost its primary strategic role and was turned into a prison. In the 20th and early 21st century, the castle was the site of the Teatro più vicino alle Stelle ("The Nearest Theatre to the Stars"), used for opera and pop music concerts. The castle is now open to the public.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 37°34′02″N 14°17′17″E / 37.56722°N 14.28806°E / 37.56722; 14.28806