Castello di Brazzacco superiore (Moruzzo)
The castle is situated in the northern part of Brazzacco, between Pagnacco and Moruzzo. It is one of the few fortified architectural elements found in Friuli which have not undergone modifications or reconstructions throughout the centuries.
Although it was first mentioned in 12th century documents, it is believed that a settlement in this location already existed in 983, when Emperor Otto granted to Patriarch Rodoald sovereignty over Udine, Braitan, Groagno, Buja and Fagagna. According to several historians, the name Braitan refers to present-day Brazzacco.
In the 13th century the Brazzacco lineage branched into two different sections, requiring the construction of another castle called Brazzacco Inferiore (Lower Brazzacco). In 1309 the lower fortress was destroyed by the military forces of Rizzardo da Camino, Captain of Treviso; today only the tower and the chapel of Sant’Andrea remain.
The upper castle, although of modest dimensions, displays well-conserved characteristics of the oldest defensive works in Friuli. Erected on a hill which dominates the surrounding landscape, it has thick walls which enclose the recently-restored Casa del capitano (Captain’s house). A guardhouse dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries can also be viewed along the northern section of the walls.
In the beginning the castle was a feudal possession of the Brazzacco (Brazzà) family. From the 14th century onwards it became the property of various feudal families, including the Lords Savorgnano-Cergneu who later on obtained the entire feudality, taking up the title of Savorgnan di Brazzà.
The castle, which is practically intact, constitutes an interesting example of a typical ancient Friuli fortress: it is located on a hill, it is encircled by walls (a second circle of walls enclosed the village), it includes a mighty main tower and the Casa del capitano. The chapel of San Leonardo and Villa Brazzà Pirzio Biroli, surrounded by a big park rich in rare and centuries-old plants, can also be found further down the hill. Designed by architect Provino Valle, the Villa was erected upon the ruins of a previous building, destroyed during World War I and of which only the lateral farm buildings remain.