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The town's centre of power was the feudal lord's castle. The present castle or Palazzo del Principe is the result of building development, which went through at least three different periods of construction between the 15th and 19th centuries. The first period is that of the fortified town in the 15th century, without the castle. The second corresponds to the building of a simple rectangular structure and its phases of development. The third period is related to the demilitarisation of the town and the consequent transformation of the building into a stately residence or palazzo. The reconstruction of single building phases was possible thanks to data which emerged during archaeological excavations and stratigraphic analysis of the walls carried out during restoration.
Period I (mid 15th century)
The late medieval defence wall, with its moat, belongs to Period I, uncovered during archaeological excavations both in the courtyard and to the north of the building. Now traces of this fortification can be seen at the edge of the northern section of the moat. The excavations also brought to light some structures in the corner of the town walls.
Period II (early 16th century - early 17th century)
The second Period regards the fortified plan shown on the plastic model, built at the beginning of the 16th century by Prince Giovanbattista Protonobilissimo. Three phases have been recognised.
The castle is installed, reinforcing the south-east corner of the town. The moat is enlarged to provide space for the new construction.
The great entrance on the ground floor is built with a doorway bearing an inscription on its architrave, PAX HVIC DOMVI
, followed by the date, 1546.
In the second half of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th a tower with a hexagonal base is added to the south east corner of the castle, thus further occupying the space within the medieval moat. New rooms, set out on three levels, are built to the north of the courtyard, including what is now the impressive stairway. It is noticeable that the towers and the rooms to the north all have the same type of string-course torus. The underground rooms are also extended.
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