Monday, July 31, 2006
Puglia and the influence of Federico Secondo
Federico Secondo (1194-1250) was a remarkable man. King of Germany, Italy and Sicily, he also held the title of Holy Roman Emperor. He was excommunicated twice -- once for not embarking on a crusade, a second time for going to the Middle East to battle, but getting distracted by scholarly pursuits. A polyglot, math wiz, student of architecture and an unapologetic Islamophile, Frederick II quickly became public enemy number one of the 12th and 13th Century church. He was a Renaissance man 200 years before the birth of Leonardo. Oh, and he's a Marchigiano (born in Jesi). This - Castel del Monte -- is one of the many castles he had built in Puglia. It's more a math puzzle than a castle. It's designed in a octagonal shape with eight rooms up and eight rooms down. Federico probably had a good chuckle over its design. It's still in remarkable shape. It's been refurbished, but nonetheless much of the original structure is still standing.
Posted by Bernhard Warner at 7:20 PM