Comet above Santa Severa Castle

By: Marco Meniero


Santa Severa, Italy

2018 December 9


From the photographer: "The medieval village of Santa Severa boasts very ancient origins. The first written documentation in which the name of the place appears dates back to the year 939, but in reality it developed in the place where the Etruscan settlement of Pyrgi already existed, linked to the famous sanctuary of Leucothea, where the famous statue was found gold plate with bilingual etrusco-cartaginese inscription. In the Roman period the settlement was relegated to the margins of the great history, to be destroyed by the Saracen invasions in the ninth century. At the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries, a small fort dedicated to the young Severa was built on the spot by the Counts of Tuscia, who had been martyred in 660 in a nearby area. The first written documentation of the castle dates back to 1068, when the count of Norman origin Gerardo di Galeria donated it, together with the church, to the abbey of Farfa, which represented one of the most important ecclesiastical bodies of medieval Lazio. S Severa remained property of the abbey until 1130, when Pope Anacletus II donated it to the abbey of St. Paul outside the walls. During the XIIIth and XIVth centuries the castle became the property of several noble Roman families, like, for example, that of the Orsini family, to whom we owe the construction of the walls close to the castle, to then go to the Anguillara in the 15th century. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the castle became a place of rest and stay favored by the popes: among the many, there lived Pope Gregory XIII (1580), Sixtus V (1588) and Urban VIII (1633). After the seventeenth century, considering the period of its maximum splendor, followed a long and slow decline. In 1943 it was used by the Germans as a strategic military post. In recent years the castle has been the subject of an intense and definitive recovery by the public administration. Lately two important archaeological discoveries have come to light: a stretch of polygonal walls dating back to the III century BC and some parts of the walls dating back to the XIII century.
Nothing remains of the ancient castle built by the counts of Tuscia. Its current appearance dates back to the fifteenth-century reconstructions that took it to a quadrilateral plan. The most suggestive perspective to visit the castle is that from the sea, especially at sunset, when the stone is tinged with golden shades that are reflected in the sea in a play of reflections from shades ranging from gold to pink all 'light blue. From this view the castle offers itself to the visitor as a square flared lightly flared at the base to absorb the impact of the waves of the sea, without windows, if not in the highest part, and characterized by the presence of four corner towers, two rectangular and two cylindrical, and a keep, also cylindrical, connected to the complex by a footbridge. Coming from the street, however, is the first circle of eighteenth-century walls that welcomes the visitor. Beyond this circle of walls stands the small medieval village, which, with its stone streets and flying arches that unite the buildings and the request of the Assumption, retains all the charm of a remote past but still alive and still palpitating. Beyond this group of houses stands the second circle of walls, erected in the sixteenth century. Finally, preceded by the remains of an ancient moat, stands the third and last defensive ring, turreted and embattled, wanted in the fourteenth century by the powerful Orsini."
Click on the constellation icon above the image for a different view of this castle.
Technical Details: Shooting made with Canon 1DxMk2 and Sigma 14A, sum of shots with shutter speeds at 1/2 second to 10 seconds at 800Iso
Marco Meniero

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