The Castle of Paradox
Located in a spectacular panoramic position, the Castle of Rocca Sinibalda as well as representing the main attraction of this village is perhaps among the most beautiful of Sabina.
The fortress was founded as a military fortress and owes its name to Sinibaldo, Count of Sabina between 1058 and 1065.
The ownership of the structure passed from hand to hand over the centuries. This did not allow to consider some information, sources and documentation reliable. The Castle was among the possessions of the Abbey of Farfa; it belonged to the fiefs of two families, Buzzi and Brancaleoni di Romancia; in the 16th century it belonged to the Counts Mareri who, by the Medici family, lost part of the property, assigned to Cardinal Alessandro Cesarini. Cardinal Cesarini, who definitively acquired the entire property in 1539, transformed the medieval fortress into a secure and fortified structure but at the same time a palace with a renaissance breath. The restoration was entrusted to Baldassarre Peruzzi, architect of the Fabbrica di San Pietro. He was one of the greatest architects of the Renaissance, able to blend the military functions of a building with the pleasure of living it. Hence the form of eagle with outspread wings that characterizes the castle: a front part resting on a spur and a tail both born for defensive purposes in the two weakest points of the structure; a large central body that rises majestically and dominates over everything else.
Subsequently to the Cesarini the castle underwent sieges, abandonments, decadence still passing through the hands of different families: the Mattei, the Lante della Rovere, the Muti-Bussi, the Lepri.
Because of its architecture, its interior decorations and the collections it houses, the Rocca Sinibalda Castle is considered the castle of paradox, of metamorphoses, of the attempt to hold the opposites together. The walls’ decorations are inspired by the “Metamorphosis of Ovid” and family narratives by the Cesarini. Representations of living and inert objects, different styles, mythological, grotesque and battle scenes alternate. The collections present in its interior range from masks and totems of native Indian artists, objects of African rituals, works by artists who work waste materials such as ropes, plastic or iron wires.
The Renaissance frescoes of the Castle of Rocca Sinibalda retain an undoubted charm and remain among the most important of Sabina.
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