The Suevian castle in Oria is a splendid building constructed between 1225 and 1233 by Frederick II one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages, grandson of Frederick Barbarossa.
The castle has been defined as a “gigantic stone jewel” by Paul Bourget, summarizing the splendour of this Suevian manor positioned on the highest hill halfway between Brindisi and Taranto along the roman Appian Way. Frederick intended the castle to be a defensive fortress to preserve the old and rich town of Oria. Because of its position – just in between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Appian Way – Oria has always been a crossroads of cultures and strategic routes. Its triangular plan is characterized by three towers called “Quadrata”, “Del Cavaliere” and “Del Salto”: the first tower is a Frederican matrix, while the other two date back to Angionian domination.
The castle is surrounded by legend that makes its history even more fascinating and over the centuries it has been the residence of princes, knights and nobles.
Since 1933 this National Monument is owned by privates who restored it with lovely care and attention. The castle has an isosceles triangle shape with vertex faced North while donjon and the two cylindrical towers on South enclosing a big yard which could contain up to five thousand soldiers. Through the yard is still possible to get access to the old crypt, part of the former cathedral of Oria.
The whole estate runs along the south and west sides of the triangle with the historical complex on the south side with the towers “Quadrata” “del Salto” and “del Cavaliere”.The historical part is nowadays also a museum with a private collection of archaeological remains of pre-Roman age. The west side of the estate is on two levels: the ground floor has a main hall, offices, a direct access to a private apartment, kitchen and bathrooms. From the main hall, an internal staircase (there is also a wonderful stone staircase outside leading up to first floor from the courtyard) lead up to first floor with conference halls, the private apartment and the access to the historical part of the building.
Because of its position the castle lift the spirit from any external window and door with stunning views on the medieval town of Oria with its old jewish quarter, the surrounding countryside and on the private garden running along the west side of the castle. The manor, in fact, also has a second access through the garden, with parking areas created in the greenery of the park.