Augusta touring-Le tradizioni, la storia, i monumenti, le immagini del territorio.
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Pianta quadrata del CastelloIn 1232 Frederick entrusted the task of building the fortress to Riccardo di Lentini,a famous architect of the period.The costruction itself took ten years according to two lost inscriptions in marble.The first of these was over the South Gate and said :"The magnificence of this work,by the majesty of its appearance,demonstrates that you,Frederick,built it in 1242 A.D." The second was over the North Gate and said:"The Divine Augustus(refering to Frederick)founded the city of Augusta and gave to it the title of "The Venerable". Frederick II gave the inhabitants,the lands,the confines and a castle to this city.The castle thus became the focal point in the life of the city and the major events in the history of Augusta are usually centred around it. The castle was originally square in shape,each wall being 62 metres long.There were four square towers at each of the corners,two polygonal towers at the centre of the North and South walls and two rectangular ones at the centre of the East and West faces.Of these original eight,only six remain.Castello Svevo lato levanteThe walls and towers enclosed a large courtyard,aroundwhich were the characteristic low,pointed "volte a cordonata" arches with a false ornamented support.On three sides of the courtyard these arches formed one simple,crossvaulted nave which provided the many entrances to the yayd itself.The castle proper,howewer,could only be entered through the southernend of the courtyard,by way of double nave.The fourtress underwent various modifications,first by the Aragonese and then by the Spaniards. In this latter period ,the bastions were constructed:these were named Vigliena,San Giacomo,San Filippo and San Bartolomeo.This last bastion was reinforced by the smaller tower of the Knights of Sain Charles.It was also during this period that the platform and casemates for the canons were built and new moats were dug around the sloping walls.The upper floors were also demolished while it was under Spanish and Aragonese supremacy,and the original frederican structure was considerably enlarged by the addition of two barrackrooms with a connecting bastion.Bastione lato levanteIt is throough this later addition that the castle is now entered.In 1590 the isthmus of the peninsula was cut on the orders of the spanish Vice-Roy,to render the city and the castle more defendable.The island could then be reached by way of three bridges:two of these were draw-bridges going from the island to the mainland.The other was the already existant bridge from the mainland to the island.In 1693,because of a big earthquake,an explosion destroyed the castle powder-store and a share of the east side.Later ,during the recostruction some changes were introduced but they alterated the original structure.In the 1893 the castle was converted in a prison until the 1978.Presently it is under important restauration,to be visited in the future.Today in the San Giacomo bastion there is an important Museum where Augusta military remainings are showed.

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Translated by M.Mazzara