Gradara in Gabicce Mare, Pesaro and Urbino, Italy | Castle
Gradara is a typical medieval village, placed on a hilltop overlooking the Flaminia way and enjoying a beautiful landscape. The town is surrounded by trapezoidal fourteenth-century walls crowned by merlons and provided with rectangular bastions. A further curtain of walls placed in between, the towers and an independent gate ensured a further defence to the fortress.
The whole perimeter of the walls were run by communication trenches. At the western corner the town wall was reinforced by a stout poligonal bastion, the rocchetta. The only entrance to the tower was through the Porta dell'Orologio, an arch supporting a square tower (on whose walls hanged the coat-of-arms of the Montefeltros, the Sforzas and the Malatestas) provided by a draw-bridge.
The Castle is placed on the highest and more easily defensible hill.
The donjon, (Mastio) around the main keep, helps to confer the fortress the idea of strenght and elegance at the same time, typical of the medieval fortresses.
The Mastio dates back to 1150 and the wings of the Castle were built around it on a later time. The interior of the Castle underwent radical changes in the course of the passage from a fort to a residential palace.