Fondazione Luigi Bon
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Prà Castello


The castle stood on the slopes of Mount Strabùt, in a panoramic position on the lower edge of the wide knoll above the town of Tolmezzo, which still retains the name Prà Castello.
It had a rectangular plan with sides measuring 40 by 28 meters, with a series of rooms aligned on at least two floors on the north and south sides, gathered around a porticoed courtyard. The corners were reinforced by four towers and a fifth tower, crenellated and larger, stood in the center. Outside the castle on the west side was a large farmyard enclosed by a wall and partly occupied by sheds where animals moved with a certain freedom: chickens, sheep, goats and even cattle. These animals were necessary for the castle's living needs, and for the same needs, on the east side of the castle there was a verziere (vegetable garden). The castle was accessed by two roads: one from the west reachable with a mule track that climbed from the Cascina – protected downstream by a crenellated wall – to a strong watchtower that led into the farmyard adjacent to the castle; the other road, from the east, broke away from the roadway coming from Amaro and climbed onto Prà Castello, probably controlled by a watchtower.
The castle was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1348 and was probably immediately restored. Other works were carried out in 1397. In 1426, during the "Venetian" era (1420-1797), the castle was found to be uncovered by a bombard blast, and the repair and fortification work was carried out in 1447. In 1788, an earthquake sent it permanently to ruin. The castle was not repaired, but its historical function had already been fulfilled, when a seat for the Gastaldia of Carnia (also called the Patriarch's House) was built in the fortified town of "Terra di Tolmezzo."
In the mid-19th century the crumbling walls of the old castle were torn down and with the same stones the present terraces were consolidated. In the early 1930s, a Heliotherapeutic Colony was built and was active for the benefit of the children of the Tolmezzo municipality.
In 1998 the Heliotherapeutic Colony (with its high portico, kitchen and services), by then crumbling, was demolished. Now in Prà Castello, are clearly visible the terraces where the massive Tolmezzo Castle once stood.


Photography by Ulderica Da Pozzo

Fondazione Luigi Bon
Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia Comune Capofila Tolmezzo Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia
Fondazione Friuli Camera di Commercio Pordenone - Udine ERT Ente Regionale Teatrale del Friuli Venezia Giulia AIAM
PrimaCassa BIM Comunità della Montagna della Carnia Carnia Industrial Park
Legnolandia Secab
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