Castello di Colloredo di Monte Albano
The Colloredo Mels castle is located in Colloredo di Monte Albano (Ud). It was erected in 1302 by Baron William of Waldsee, Viscount of Mels, a knight of ancient Swabian lineage, on a family-owned hill near the ancestral manor of Mels. The construction was completed by his three sons, who first assumed the surname Colloredo Mels Waldsee. The building is a typical example of a 'residential' castle built for defensive needs in the centre of the fiefdom as a stable and secure dwelling. Increasingly enlarged over the centuries, it underwent a slow and steady replacement of defensive features with more properly residential ones. In fact, frescoes were realised, such as those by Giovanni da Udine, a pupil of Raphael, located in the West Tower (of which interesting fragments with zoo-anthropomorphic figures are visible today), stuccoes, altanas with Italian gardens, private oratories and the Gentile Chapel, today the Parish Church. Ermes di Colloredo, one of the most important poets in the Friulian language, and Ippolito Nievo, related to the Colloredo Mels family, also lived in the manor and wrote 'Confessions of an Italian' here. The castle was thus owned by the family and its descendants for centuries, and the Torre Porta, known as the 'Clock Tower', is still owned by them, who will regain possession of a number of residential units at the end of the restoration work being carried out by the Region. The West Wing, seat of the Friuli Hill Community, can currently be visited, and the Guardhouse, the Red House, the East Wing and the three towers are visible.