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Castel Manfrino

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Castel Manfrino


The ancient “Castrum Maccle”, an authentic jewel of mediaeval military architecture, lies in one of the most fascinating and “mysterious” sites within the whole Province, on the border with the territory of Ascoli and on top of a rocky spur towering over the Salinello valley.

It is because of this strategic position, allowing to sight and control the movements along the valley, that it was considered across the centuries as a major defensive post of the territory. The fortified enclosure with its imposing walls which follow the profile of the rocky crest line and the three square sighting towers probably go back to the 13th century. It rose on a previous Roman camp, a “castrum” once set to guard the “Via Salaria”.

The legend has it that King Manfredi, son of the Emperor Federico II, had commissioned the construction to defend the northern boundary of his kingdom from the invasions of the Ascolani. After his defeat it passed under the dominion of the Angevins.

The Swabian bailey did not include bastions (except the zone near the entrance), while on the opposite side an imposing square keep, il “maschio” (the male), served as the castle's residence and as last bulwark of the fort in case the outside defences should fail. In a document of the year 1277 the permanent presence of a chaplain is mentioned which leads to think that the structure once included a chapel.

In 1281, Carlo D'angiò commissioned the construction of a new massive tower, probably designed by the architect Pierre d'Angicourt, who was active within Abruzzo at the time. It had a square base and the first level has been conserved up to today including the underground cistern and parts of the walls up to 12 metres. The rests of this tower, counting among the rare testimonies of the Angevin period, represent a testimony of great documentary value. The castle's structure recalls the fortified baileys found within the territory of l'Aquila such as the ones of San Pio delle Camere, Fossa, Di Roccacasale, all structure which unfortunately have not been clearly dated.

The ruins of the castle are accessible through the wooden and steel duckboards. The story of the castle on the other hand is illustrated with panels and features from the archaeological excavations set up in the Museum of Macchia da Sole by the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga.


Teramo Turismo

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