What it is and where it is
Looking at Narni from a distance, one notices that it is nestled on a hillside. The top of the mountain, at an altitude of 332 meters, however, is occupied by a mighty building: the Albornoz Fortress. It is the highest point in Narni, perfect for placing the building that would protect the village and its inhabitants. Already from a distance it surprises with its compact and solid structure : the quadrangular base is reinforced by three corner towers plus an inviolable-looking keep.
Why it is special
Also enchanting is the serene appearance of the structure: the pale stones, still in place, stand out against the blue sky, almost defying time to do what no one has ever managed to do: destroy them. Indeed, centuries and numerous sieges have put the structure's resilience to the test. The splendid condition it is in today is due to the intervention of the Municipality of Narni and the Province of Terni, which took care of the careful restoration work.
Not to be missed
The result of these works is a fortified castle restored to its former glory and, above all, can be visited safely. One can enter inside its walls to admire the courtyard with the well, and from there access the different areas of the building. One of these is the keep, an ingenious defensive work, the last bastion of Narni. The spaces inside were designed, in fact, to allow the passage of only one man at a time. An invading army that had managed to get this far would, in practice, have had to advance in single file, becoming easy prey for the defenders.
A bit of history
The construction work on the fortress ordered by Cardinal Egidio Albornoz ended in 1367 and, despite some conquests over the years, it always returned under papal rule. One of its most famous feats was resisting the troops of the Lansquenets and Spaniards who had just been guilty of the Sack of Rome in 1527. Returning from the Eternal City, the troops attacked and destroyed Narni, but could not penetrate the defenses of its fortress. In the 1900s it was bought by a Russian prince, and then passed to the Municipality of Narni in 1972.
It is no exaggeration to call the keep the last bastion of Narni. In ancient times, in fact, this mighty tower was not accessible directly from the Rocca, but had its own drawbridge. In short, taking the Rocca was not enough to be able to sing victory!
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