Consortium for the protection of the historical castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia
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Castello di Spilimbergo

Aerial view (photo Ciol)
Aerial view (photo Ciol)

The castle of Spilimbergo, whose original structures date back to the 10th/11th century, today appears as a cluster of stately residences arranged in a ring around a large central courtyard and is surrounded for a large part by a deep moat buried in an unspecified period.

Among the various buildings that compose it, the best known is the so-called 'painted palace', which takes its name from the frescoes painted in the last quarter of the 15th century by the San Vito painter Andrea Bellunello, while the adjacent 'palatium vetus', burnt down during the popular uprising in 1511, was never rebuilt.

The hospitality offered to Emperor Charles V in 1532 is recorded in the colourful chronicle by Roberto di Spilimbergo. Other illustrious guests were Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, in 1556 and Henry III of France in 1574.

The wing currently used as the representative office of the Ado Furlan Foundation was renovated in 1911 on the initiative of the lawyer Marco Ciriani, husband of Countess Clara di Spilimbergo. The restoration work, in accordance with the criteria of the time, was carried out under the supervision of the Venetian architect Giuseppe Torres. Inside, it preserves traces of decorations dating back to the 15th century and especially, on the main floor, the long stucco and fresco frieze executed by Giovanni da Udine in the early 1620s on a commission from Count Giacomo I. In the course of the aforementioned restoration, the tympanum portal, which was located outside and features a warrior's head probably belonging to Pordenone, was moved inside the entrance hall.

The adjoining side is occupied by a large building renovated during the 1560s by Tadea di Spilimbergo, wife of Bernardino (of Count Antonio's branch) and sister of that Gianfrancesco who in 1543 had married Giulia da Ponte, widow of Adriano di Spilimbergo and mother of the famous Irene. Once adorned with stuccoes and paintings, the palace, in addition to the CRAF (Centre for Research and Archiving of Photography) and the Municipality's Culture Office, houses a permanent exhibition of sculptures from the Ado Furlan Foundation on the ground floor.