Monastero Bormida Castle was originally a monastery (dedicated to St. Julia) and its tower, 27 meters high and still visible today, represented the bell tower.
The river creeps up to a few meters from the southern tower of the castle, demonstrating that the building was not created for defensive purposes but, evidently, as an abbey body.
Originally the monastery consisted of the bell tower, the church (two columns with Romanesque capitals can still be seen transformed into a fountain in one of the courtyards) and a body of the building corresponding more or less to the present inner perimeter of the courtyard, where small medieval round-headed windows can be seen, probable light points of the monastic cells.
The first important intervention of which certain information dates back to the years 1394 - 1405, when the Marquis Antonio and Galeotto Del Carretto sustained huge expenses to fortify the town. It is presumable that on that occasion the deepest transformation of the building was made, substantially changing its form.
The current result is achieved only after Baroque and Renaissance revisions, not such, however, as to distort in fundamental characters the late 14th-century line conferred by the Del Carretto.
The building is currently located in the lower square of the village, which can be accessed by climbing a characteristic bridge lift (the Puntet), through one of the entrance doors of the ancient city walls; the square still partially maintains the ancient river stone paving. East elevation is composed of a series of coordinated structures built in different periods, including a two-arched Renaissance loggia with a central stone column.
The west side, on the tower square, has a thin brick wall with a raised geometric frieze at the top of the wall.
Main façade, on the other hand, reveals a complete seventeenth-century reworking, embellished with imposing Baroque-style pilasters. From here, through a large portico with a cross vault (on the right you can still see the Gothic arch that constituted the original entrance), you enter the inner courtyard of the building, dominated by the double port which, on the left for those entering , leads to the complex of terraces on the first floor, where there are several entrance doors, including one, walled, certainly fourteenth century.
The interior - which can be visited in the summer on the occasion of the Castelli Aperti event - is a succession of spacious rooms with mosaic floors and sail and cross ceilings, some of them frescoed with floral and geometric motifs or with female figures, sometimes mythological.
The second floor can be reached through two different stairs: a main double-ramp leading to the apartment, now a private home in the southern part; the other, secondary, that starting from a corner of the first floor terrace leads to the towers and the attic of the north block.
Dungeons, reached by various entrances directly open on the inner courtyard, are characterized by the fusion of different architectural elements, among which the flooring and ceilings of the cross from the end of the XIV century stand out.
Of particular relevance in the architectural complex is the tower. Having reached us in excellent condition, however, it threatened demolition at the end of the eighteenth century because it was in need of extensive restoration work. Twenty-seven meters high, it has four orders with friezes and hanging arches on all sides, the lower two in brick and the upper two in stone. Above are two orders of round-arched windows, of which the lower ones are in two-colored ashlars.
Also, worthy of mention is the recently restored underground part where you can still see the remains of a mill and the base of a press.
- Castello di Monastero Bormida
Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
- Monastero Bormida