The fortress of Piediluco
The fortress of Piediluco, an iconic monument of the place,stands on top of Mount Luco which in ancient times was covered by a wood considered sacred. It dominates the village and the lake it overlooks,still maintaining,although no longer intact,an imposing aspect. Due to its position,over many centuries it was a garrison for the control and defense of the territory, so much so that it was the subject of bitter disputes between Terni, Rieti and Spoleto.
The Fortress of Piediluco is a complex consisting of two distinct parts: the Palace built in the thirteenth century by the Brancaleoni,lords of the place, on the remains of a previous castle dating back to the early years of the millennium and the Rocca(fortress)which performed a military-defensive function. Built between 1364 and 1368 by the will of Cardinal Albornoz(papal legate)to reaffirm the authority and power of the Church,it became its owner, together with the surrounding territory, Blasco Fernadez di Belvisio,who was responsible for the renovation of the building . Of the latter, one can still distinguish the boardroom, the residential rooms and some ancillary rooms. The portal bears two lions similar to those present in the crowning of the portal of the church of San Francesco,located within the village and which was built as part of the transformation project of the town commissioned by the Brancaleoni family.
Characterizing the fortress is the mighty pentagonal-shaped keep,developed on five levels of which the lower one served as a water tank. A cistern for collecting rainwater, on the other hand,was located in the center of the parade ground. The linear arrangement of the keep-courtyard and residential palace parts differentiate this fortress from the other Albornozian fortresses located in Umbria,which have a quadrangular layout. The complex was surrounded by a system of fortifications that linked it to the underlying settlement. The remaining portions of these walls are hidden by dense tree vegetation planted in the 1930s.
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