Rocchetta Mattei Castle -

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Rocchetta Mattei Castle
SP.62 Riola Ponte, Grizzana Morandi, Bologna, Italy


It was built by Count Cesare Mattei since 1850 on the ruins of an ancient castle with an adjoining church and cemetery dating back to 1100. It was adorned with onion domes, arches and courtyards on models Alhambra of Granada and the cathedral of Cordoba. The works lasted over 50 years and made the structure a labyrinthine tangle of ladders bearing in colorful rooms decorated with Moorish domes and towers. During World War II it was requisitioned by the German command that was installed there ransacking the furniture and burning many fine furniture for heating. Also suffered damage and looting by local people, were stolen jewelry, paintings, tapestries, furniture, ceramics and, it is said, as many as 600 Persian carpets. In 1904 he passed to Mario Venturoli Mattei, who completed it according to the will of the Count and lived there with his family until his death. Because of the difficulty of maintaining due to years of war and the permanent transfer of the family in Bologna, he was sold to Elena Flavors, wife of Prime Stefanelli, a trader in Vergato (said Mercantone). He tried to make it a tourist attraction by creating a new building used as a restaurant on the west side, a fake razor pit and false prisons in medieval style. In 1986 the castle was listed as property protected by the state and at the same time he was declared unfit for use, that forced the closure owners. So the castle fell into disrepair and was in complete abandonment for 20 years, overlooked by the owners, forgotten by many villagers and government institutions that had to protect him. In 2005, the castle was bought by the Foundation Carisbo who began the restoration. In August 2015, the castle was finally reopened to the public.

Rocchetta Mattei servizio andato in onda al TG2 il giorno 12/04/2015
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