Dominating the Sea

7 gennaio 2015 | Commenta Discovery Marche

History shows that the greatest dangers come from open spaces, those that are difficult to control, where the eye gets lost on the horizon and enemies have the perfect opportunity to attack.
Being relatively close to the sea was positive for the ancient people of the Marches region thanks to the trading ties and other opportunities it offered yet it was also problematic due to the risk of attacks and invasions that were almost a daily occurrence!
In order to provide defence, some of the most beautiful fortifications in history were built in this region; they have survived the test of time and still stand today reminding us of the power of what was.
La Rocca di Acquaviva is an imposing 14th century bastion located at the heart of the town of Acquaviva Picenza in the province of Ascoli Piceno.
It was built by the Acquaviva family at the beginning of the 1300s and but what we see today is the reconstruction that was carried out by Giovan Francesco Azzolino together with Florentine Baccio Pontelli in 1474 following the fort’s destruction by the people of Fermo in the same year.
The fort has an irregular four-sided layout with three defence towers on the top: two of which are pentagonal, and one that is square.
The particularity of this castle lies in the inconsistent form of the towers. Perhaps through playing with the construction the architects were looking to illustrate a cross-bow that shoots an arrow towards the East towards the sea – the direction from which the most dangerous attacks would arrive: perhaps it was a type of challenge?
In the fourth corner of the quadrilateral we find the keep, a circular fortified tower, which was equipped with slits from which artillery could be used.
The castle can be accessed by the courtyard that is overlooked by the keep. We can also go through a corridor carved inside the walls where large cavities can be seen that were used as positions for the archers.
The fortress was previously equipped with a drawbridge that no longer exists today however there is still a well in the centre of the courtyard.

The local Marches architect Giuseppe Sacconi brought this amazing fortress back to life and it also now home to the Museo delle Armi Antiche, the Museum of Ancient Arms.

Tags: , , , , , ,