One castle, four dominations, 800 years of history!
|(CH 1903)||E 704660||N 113820||H 202.0|
|(WGS 84)||Long. 8.794||Lat. 46.168|
Archaeological, Historical, Architectural
The remains of the first structure, destroyed by the Milanese in 1156, are located under the courtyard of Casorella, the last building to be annexed to the castle. The oldest part of the complex which is visible today dates back to the thirteenth century (the Castle of the Orelli). With the conquest by the Visconti in 1342, the castle was reinforced by a semicircular tower and a surrounding wall to protect the port as well. The transfer of the castle to the Rusca family in 1439 saw the strengthening of the defensive structures and the transformation of the castle into an elegant residence. Beginning in 1531, a large part of the castle was dismantled by “landfogti” (administrators of justice and tax collectors) following the peace of Fribourg in 1513, and the material was reused in the construction of the churches of San Vittore and San Francesco in Locarno. The structure, used by landfogti until 1798, owes its present appearance to the restoration conducted by the painter Edward Berta in the years 1921 to 1928, which highlighted the historical aspects of the castle.
By bus: from the station, take the bus for Brione s. Minusio. Get off at the Piazza Castello stop and walk for one minute to Piazza Castello. By car: take the A13 motorway towards Locarno, exit at Locarno, and at the roundabout take Via Vincenzo Vela to the car park. Walk along Via Vela towards the Castle. Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10.00 - 12.00 / 14.00 - 17.00; Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00; Sunday: 10:00 - 17:00. The ruins of the ancient port in the Rusca underpass are always visible.
AA.VV. Guida d’arte della Svizzera Italiana, Bellinzona, 2007
Rüsch E., Carazzetti, R., Locarno, il Castello visconteo e la Casorella, Guide ai Monumenti Svizzeri SSAS, 2002