Il Palagio, Mercatale
|The first mention of the 'Palagio' castle dates back to 1252, though its origin is surely much
earlier. This important stronghold has withstood several major attacks during the centuries. In 1260, the Ghibellines plundered the area and destroyed Campoli, but Il Palagio was unconquered and its thick and semibastioned walls
unbreached, as also in 1312 during campaign of the Emperor Henry VII prince of
Orange. The year 1320 was characterised by the raids and destruction
wrought by Castruccio Castracani, while in 1381 John Hawkwood's army was stopped in the
neighborhood by Buondelmonti's troops coming from Il Palagio. By that time the fortress, thanks to its
unscaleable curtain wall, had become a bastion for defense and a base for raids against the
invaders of the surrounding area. From the 15th century onwards, the castle
became the possession of the Florentine Republic which strengthened
The building, which originally had only one floor with a sloping roof, has undergone many changes. In ancient times, the tower, which has a square shape and functions as the keep, was lower than today and without crenellations (like many other castles of the Chianti area). The present battlements are ornamental and were added during the restoration of 1910.
From the 15 C onwards, Il Palagio has been endowed with many artistic masterpieces. Portraits of Florentine nobles, pictures of hunting and battles scenes, and terracottas from the school of Della Robbia were brought to the Palagio to adorn the splendid halls. The gothic chapel is still fully decorated and in its centre there is a plaster cast picturing a Madonna with Child. The original work of art was here until the beginning of the 20th century, when it was given to the Bargello Museum in Florence. The current owner of the castle is the family of the Marquis Goretti Miniati.
The gothic Chapel of Il Palagio
with a Madonna and Child at the centre,
San Giovan Gualberto on the right and the Blessed Michele Flamini on the left.
hills of Chianti provide a wide range of village and farm house
accommodation for your stay in Tuscany.
Why suffer the heat of a town when you could
be high in the cool hills with panoramic views and a pool?
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