Zumelle Castle

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The castle seen from north-west.

Zumelle Castle is a castle near the village of Tiago in the municipality of Borgo Valbelluna, province of Belluno, northern-eastern Italy.

Nearby the castle is the early medieval church of San Donato, of Lombard origins.

History[edit]

A first fortification here existed perhaps as early as c. 46-47 AD, when the Romans were consolidating their hold in the Valbelluna, conquered in the 1st century BC. The construction sat on a strategical location, commanding the road coming from the plain through the Praderadego, which has been identified as the Via Claudia Augusta Altinatis or, more likely, one of its side branches.

During and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the castle was the major stronghold of the area as it guarded the connections between Feltre and Ceneda. According to a legend, the ruined fortifications were refounded by one Gaiseric (or Genseric), a faithful of queen Amalasuntha. After her assassination, he established here and had two twins (Italian: gemelle), whence the name. During the early Middle Ages the castle was the location of a feudal struggle, started in 737 when the Lombard king Liutprand appointed Valentino, bishop of Ceneda, as lord of Zumelle. This caused a controversy with John, count-bishop of Belluno, who already ruled these lands; the war was ended in 750 after the intervention of the new king Aistulf. In 963 emperor Otto I gave the county of Zumelle to the bishops of Belluno.

In 1037 emperor Conrad II assigned it to his baron Abelfred. The latter died with no male heirs, and the castle went to his daughter Adelheit, who married Wilfred of Colfosco. Their daughter Sofia in turn married Guecellone II da Camino, and thenceforth the castle was owned by the Caminesi family.

The castle was rebuilt in 1311 by Rizzardo IV da Camino, lord of Treviso, Belluno and Feltre, but after its conquest by the Republic of Venice it lost its importance. In 1501 it was sacked by imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai. Restored, it was subsequently owned by the Zorzi and Gritti families and, after the fall of the Venetian Republic, by the Austrian Empire. In 1872 it was acquired by the commune of Mel, which is still the current owner.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°2′10.50″N 12°4′54″E / 46.0362500°N 12.08167°E / 46.0362500; 12.08167 http://www.civitaszumellarum.it/