Perched on a rock overlooking the village, the old manner stands out tall and stately, immediately catching the visitor's eye.
There is some debate surrounding the details of the castle's origins: some historians date the construction to the Marquis Aleramo (967), others to the Caldera family in around 1221.
The castle belonged to the Calderas until 1736, when, brought as a dowry by Olimpia Elisabetta Caldera, bride of Alessandro Saluzzo, it passed to the Saluzzo marquises of Monesiglio and Valgrana.
The oldest part of the castle is the sturdy square tower, reminiscent of the purely defensive nature of the original building. There is some controversy regarding its construction. Some believe it was the work of the Marquis Aleramo, others attribute it to the Caldera family in 1221. However, we know for sure that various extensions were added over the centuries, including a long L-shaped structure housing the old parish church of St. Joseph.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, when it no longer served as a defensive fortification, the castle was transformed and used for residential purposes, but without altering the original plan.
THE CASTLE NOW
Inside the doorway is a wide staircase leading to the basement with the kitchen, pantry and prison cells.
There are two staircases up to the main floors: the armoury, a drawing room, the count's chamber and the library are on the first floor; a small antechamber, the countess's chamber, the "hall of coats of arms", and two more chambers are located on the second floor.
The former picture gallery leads into the area of the old parish church of St. Joseph, now a parsonage, where the private chapel of the lords of the castle has been preserved. Marvellous frescoes by Antonio Ocello da Ceva from 1532 have been preserved in the private chapel.
The manor is owned by the parish and was used in the 1980s and 1990s as a care home.
Local sights: Marchionale chapel, sanctuary of S. Maria d'Acqua Dolce, church of S. Andrea.
Events: "Festa di S. Biagio" (first Sunday in September), "Fiera Delle Antiche Piazze" (first Sunday in June).
CASTELLO DEI CONTI CALDERA DI MONESIGLIO
Via Alla Chiesa, 24
12077 Monesiglio (CN)
Opening times 2012
April: 25 - May: 1 - June: 2 - September: 30 - October: 7
Every Sunday from 3rd June to 2nd September.
Closed: 15th August
Opening times: 15-18
Adults 3 euro, children up to 12 and groups 2 euro.
Information and bookings
tel. +39 0174.92108
Bookings through the municipal tourist board (tel. +39 0174.92143) or town hall (tel. +39 0174.92108).