Visconti Castle (Abbiategrasso)
|Visconti Castle (Abbiategrasso)|
Castello Visconteo di Abbiategrasso
The corner of the castle with the remains of the tower
|Built by||Azzone Visconti, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Filippo Maria Visconti|
The Visconti Castle of Abbiategrasso is a Middle Age castle located in Abbiategrasso, Metropolitan City of Milan, Lombardy, northern Italy. It lies on the axis of the Naviglio Grande and from its tower the navigation along the canal toward Milan could be controlled. In the 15th century it was one of the preferred places of residence of the dukes and duchesses of Milan.
The Visconti Castle of Abbiategrasso was probably built at the end of the 13th century on the site of a previous fortification (castro Margazario) near a Benedictine monastery. It was enlarged by Azzone Visconti (1329-1339) and Gian Galeazzo (1378-1402). In 1438 it was restored and embellished by the Duke Filippo Maria and – lost every defensive function and easily reachable by water along the Naviglio Grande – it became his favorite country mansion.
To the castle had some inclination the duchesses of Milan. Here (as an alternative to Cusago) had a stable residence Agnese del Maino, mistress of the Duke Filippo Maria and mother of Bianca Maria. The Sforza, dukes of Milan and descendants of Bianca Maria, favored the castle of Abbiategrasso to enhance their Visconti origins.
After the Visconti-Sforza period, the castle progressively assumed again the role of a stronghold, especially during the years of the Italian Wars (1494-1559). In 1658 three towers were demolished and the fourth was cut off. In 1862 it was sold to the municipality, which in the following years obliterated the ramparts to make place to the new train station, at the same time taking care of some restorations.
The castle currently houses the offices and the City Council of the Abbiategrasso municipality.
- Conti, Flavio; Hybsch, Vincenzo; Vincenti, Antonello (1990). I castelli della Lombardia. Provincie di Milano e Pavia (in Italian). Novara: Istituto Geografico de Agostini. ISBN 88-402-9108-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Del Tredici, Federico; Rossetti, Edoardo (2012). Percorsi castellani: da Milano a Bellinzona: guida ai castelli del ducato (in Italian). Castelli del ducato. ISBN 9788896451021.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)