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

Tower entrance to the castle square.
Tower entrance to the castle square.

The fulcrum that gave life to the first nucleus of the village of Valvasone was the castle. Built in masonry on late antique pre-existing foundations in the 13th century, it belonged to the ancient and noble lineage of the di Valvasone family, descendants of the Carinthian di Cosa family. In 1293 it became the possession of the family branch of the Cuccagna di Spilimbergo family, which from then on placed its coat of arms with the red lion alongside that of the di Valvasone family, i.e. a black wolf on a white field (the name Valvasone is said to derive from the German wolfes + höfe, i.e. ʻmasseria del lupoʼ). The site, on which the castle stands, has been strategic since Roman times, as it allowed control of the section of the Via Postumia that used the nearby ford on the Tagliamento river in use until the 19th century. Fired, rebuilt and damaged several times, including by seismic events in our times, the castle has undergone considerable modifications over the centuries and today appears as a Renaissance palace now devoid of the defensive systems with which it was originally equipped (towers, moat and drawbridge). Over the centuries, it has hosted several important figures such as Pope Gregory XII in 1409, Pope Pius VI in 1782 and Napoleon Bonaparte in March 1797. Thanks to recent restoration work inside the central wing of the castle, which is owned by the municipality, it is possible to admire a precious TEATRINO, for private use, dating back to the end of the 18th century, surrounded by a splendid older frieze, dating back to the end of the 16th century, frescoed with putti and scenes from classical mythology. The latter was inspired by the work of Count ERASMO di VALVASON (1523-1593), author of poems such as 'The Hunt' and 'The Angeleida' and translator of classical works. In another room, frescoes from the second half of the 14th century have been unearthed. The upper floors house an Oratory dedicated to the Immaculate Conception with late 17th-century stuccoes by Bernadino Barelio, halls with perfectly preserved 16th-century wooden ceilings and neoclassical decorations attributed to Domenico Paghini.