In the heart of Tuscany, some 40 kilometers from Florence tmay be and the most fascinating masterpiece of architecture in Italy, Sammezzano Castle.
Why the most fascinating?
Because never you would not expect to discover one Orient in the middle of Tuscany. And this castle is one of three Arab-style buildings in Italy.
A visit to Sammezzano Castle will take you to Morocco, via China to India, because you will admire details that will remind you of architecture of Arab and Asian countries.
Castello di Sammezzano
The history of this place probably begins in Roman times. At that time, according to many biographers of the period, lived also Charlemagne, the first emperor of Western Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
Then. among the famous owners of the castle were Kozimo and Giovanni Medici.
However, the castle does not get its present appearance until the middle of the 19th century when buying it Spanish nobleman Ferdinando Ximenes d'Aragon (1813-1897).
At the beginning of the 18th century, the cultural wave of “Orientalism” spread across Europe
Florence and the castle of Sammezzano represent one example of Arab influence, while the example is certainly Rocchetta Mattei Fort, located near Bologna.
Ferdinando, who has lived in Florence since birth, is influenced by this cultural wave, modified the existing Castello di Sammezzano castle.
Then they are under his instructions you add new halls and rooms, which gave the trap a completely different look.
Although he did not have a degree, Ferdinando had the skills of a geologist, architect and engineer. He was also regarded as a very eccentric man so that he could independently plan and rebuild Castello di Sammezzano.
The interior is completely finished in Maori style and reminiscent of details you can see in the Alhambra Palace, located in Granada.
Ximenes not only redesigned and expanded the existing building, he had already planned a large area around the castle characterized by a lush forest of evergreen oaks and redwoods. This park is considered one of the most beautiful and largest in the whole of Tuscany.
Peacock's Room – Sammezzan's Most Beautiful Room
Tare as many as 365 rooms in the castle and one does not know which one is more beautiful. Still, if you asked those who visited the castle that was most beautiful to them, we believe that everyone would say to you – Peacock's Room!
It was named because of its décor and colors reminiscent of lavish peacock.
Interestingly, Ferdinando rarely threw things he didn't use, so in this room he decided to put on the wall Chinese accessories given to him by some Spanish nobles.
Abandoned for two decades…
During World War II, The Germans did a lot of damage to the castle and brought with them a large number of sculptures from the park.
In the 1970s, Castello di Sammezzano was transformed into a hotel restaurant. Unfortunately, the hotel collapsed in the early 90's.
For ten years the castle was without owners. It was not until 1999 that he was bought by a group of English and Italian capital with the aim of turning it into a luxury resort.
Unfortunately, the company also failed to regain the glow of a castle that was still abandoned, destroyed and often targeted by local thieves and homeless people.
Seven years ago, a non-profit, local organization was able to raise awareness about an abandoned castle in public. However, except for allowing them to do tourist tours, they also failed to save this castle.
After that, an attempt by foreign investors failed, and the future of the trap remains unclear. It's just amazing that such a beautiful and significant piece of history and architecture has been rotting for decades…
More information about the castle can be found at official site buildings.
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