Consortium for the protection of the historical castles of Friuli Venezia Giulia
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Casa Fortificata La Brunelde (Fagagna)

Exterior view of the complex
Exterior view of the complex

The Brunelde fortress, built on pre-Roman pre-existences (4th-3rd centuries BC), is mentioned as early as 1208 in a list of feudal possessions of the Counts of Arcano, marshals and confaloniers of the Patriarch of Aquileia, to whom it still belongs. As early as the 13th century, a tower-house of approximately 6x7 metres sideways (the ground floor of which corresponds to today's 'old' kitchen) is documented, which was expanded in the following century to become a dwelling protected by fences and a large moat. The current forms date back to Giovanni Nicolò d'Arcano, who in the years 1498-1504 and 1512-18 radically rearranged the complex, dedicating it to rest and hunting. All of this was in accordance with the suggestions of his brother Rizzardo - a humanist and diplomat at the papal curia - who on the ground floor of the west wing wanted to re-propose the 'Roman-style' layout and who chose the Latin mottos from Virgil's Aeneid inserted in clipeia surrounded by racemes that adorn the entrance hall, according to a precise project to exalt the human mind and spirit. The great works of the Renaissance were completed in 1518 with the building of the small chapel of San Nicolò, where the relic 'of the true Cross', according to tradition brought by Leonardo III d'Arcano in 1270 on his return from the eighth crusade, is still preserved. Until the 15th century, the house was commonly referred to as 'de Tricano' because of the three dogs raised as a coat of arms, united with silver and red chess, and for this reason the lordly residence that grew to the west of the original tower-house was called domus magna Tricanea, distinguishing it from the purely agricultural sector that was distributed to the east, with stables, stables, canipe and granaries. The domus magna Tricanea still displays furnishings, portraits and family memories; among the interiors are the study that once belonged to the poet Gian Mauro d'Arcano (c. 1498-1536), where part of the house's historical archive is preserved, with original documents and parchments from the 11th century, the 'caminata' with its walls painted in red and white chequered patterns, the 16th-century kitchen, the small living room and the bedroom that hosted the famous singer Farinelli in the 18th century. The gardens are also suggestive, im particular the 'high garden' with the remains of the ancient 'ragnaia' for hunting.