The Castle of Venus

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The Norman Castle of Erice, the Castello di Venere or Castle of Venus  is a 12th century Norman castle that stands above the small medieval Sicilian town of Erice , on an isolated cliff in the south-eastern corner of the summit of Mount Erice, in the province of Trapani,Sicily,Italy.
Located on the top of Mount Erice, in the province of Trapani, the Castle of Venus is built on the remains of a temple, initially dedicated to the Mother Goddess of natural fertility, identified by the Romans precisely with Venus.
Inside you can admire, in addition to the panoramic view, archaeological finds dating from the Archaic age to the Norman age, such as: the Roman baths, the well of Venus, remains of the temple of Venus, the bridge of Daedalus , the dovecote, the medieval wall, the loopholes, a medieval tunnel and the Bourbon prisons.
The castle was connected to the rest of the summit by a drawbridge, which was subsequently replaced by the current staircase. The facade of the castle, facing west, is dominated by Ghibelline merlons, and the wall of the complex follows the outline of the cliff with recesses and protrusions.
The fortress was the “royal square” for the Aragonese viceroys until the 16th century. With the Bourbons it became a prison. In the first decades of the nineteenth century it passed to the municipality, which at the end of the century gave it as a concession to Count Agostino Pepoli in exchange for a restoration.

Access : Coordinates: 38.035196, 12.591973 / Erice is a city in Sicily. Erice is located 15 km northeast of Trapani, which is located directly on the coast, on Monte Erice at an altitude of 751 m.

Highlights :

  • The imposing architectural complex stands on the ruins of the ancient temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman Venus Ericina.
  • The current separation between the two parts of the castle – the so-called “Castello di Venere” and the so-called “Torri del Balio” – is the result of the restoration work commissioned by Count Pepoli in the nineteenth century.
  • The Garden and the Balio Towers : At the end of the nineteenth century, Count Agostino Pepoli signed an agreement with the city administration which provided for the reclamation of the entire area and the reconstruction of the towers that would remain his property.In addition to the reconstruction of the pentagonal tower, the rich patron is also responsible for the construction of the Balio Garden in the English style. To date, together with the tower, the undisputed symbols of Erice.

opening hours : April May June – October : 10:00 – 18:00 , July September :10:00 – 19:00 ,August : 10:00 – 20:00
Entrance fees: € 4.00 (€ 12.00 in case of integrated ticket Castle + Museum + Turret + Spanish Quarter + Erice in miniature)

Activities : Sightseeing / Photo opportunities / Enjoy panoramic views / Long distance walking.

Go next : The small medieval Sicilian town of Erice / Trapani — attractive city and gateway to Pantelleria and the Egadi islands /

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