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THE CASTLES OF FAEDIS

Castelli di Faedis

THE CUCAGNA CASTLE

Castello di CucagnaIt was the year 1027, when Patriarch Popone gave permission to Carinthian nobleman Odorico Von Auspergh to build a castle in Faedis. This was part of a  wider, more complex project called “aristocratic colonization”, which foresaw the fortification of Friuli, in order to make it safer against the barbaric invasions.

Odorico Von Auspergh chose to build his own manor on the Cucagna Hill, from which he could dominate Faedis and the Grivò Valley, a place of transit and access to the Friulian plains. The castle was built, probably on an ancient medieval fort, which was put there as a control point halfway between Forum Julii (the modern Cividale) and Gemona, in a place which was difficult to attack and lay siege upon.

The complex is now undergoing some heavy restoration, care of the “Istituto per la ricostruzione del castello di Zucco”. It is distinguished by a high square tower, with a superelevated postern. Not far from  it, there used to be a fortified domus, of which only external walls and a big tank survive. From data collected, it seems that the residential domus was enlarged in 1325. Only a century later, though, it was abandoned along with the castle, when the Cucagna nobles (as the Von Ausperghs were known by then, from the hill they had built their castle on) moved to their villas in Ronchis, Faedis, Udine and Cividale.

The Cucagna Castle is reached through the ancient medieval trail, which starts in Borgo Sant’Anastasia, along the way to canal di Grivò, in Faedis.

THE ZUCCO CASTLE

Castello di ZuccoOn Novembre 13, 1248 Patriarch Bertoldo gave Adalpretto of Cucagna his permission to build a new castle, on the hill called “Rodingerius”, right above Faedis.This led historians to believe that in the first 150 years of their stay in Faedis, the Cucagnas had probably grown larger and richer.

The manor was built, as was usual then, in a point lower than the preexisting one, almost a sign of submission and respect towards the earlier and more illustrious one. The new castle was called Zucco, from the word “zuc”, meaning “hill”. It formerly belonged jointly to the Cucagna Family, but it was later given away to a branch of the same family, which took the same name of the castle. The new complex was bigger than the previous one and it had some articulate planning with a double ring of walls and a wide moat. Inside the enclosure were a mast tower, a fortified domus, some inhabited buildings and the small castle chapel, which still survives and can be admired today.

During the XVth Century the Zucco Castle suffered the same fate as the Cucagna one and was abandoned in favour of the cozier and more comfortable villas in the plains. It was later put on fire and burned by the Venetians. In recent times, during the Ist and IInd World Wars, the site suffered further damage.

It underwent some heavy restoration, care of the “Istituto per la ricostruzione del castello di Chucco Zucco”. Works have been currently put on stand-by, waiting for some new institution to open a new field, intended for completion of the site definitive recovery. This anticipates the realization of the “Parco Archeologico della Terra dei castelli dei comuni di Attimis, Faedis e Povoletto”, meaning “Archelogical Park of the Castle Land in the Communes of Attimis, Faedis and Povoletto”.

The Zucco Castle can be reached through the ancient medieval trail, starting from Borgo Sant’Anastasia, on the way to Canal di Grivò in Faedis.

THE SOFFUMBERGO CASTLE

Castello di SoffumbergoThe Soffumbergo castle was built in the XIth Century and its importance resided in the fact that it was home to the Patriarch of Aquileia for many years. The toponym “Soffumbergo” originated from the medieval German word “Scharfenberg”, which means sharp mountain or rock. Actually, the hill it was built on showed such distinctive traits.

It dominated a territory including Campeglio, Raschiacco, Colloredo, Valle and Canale. Because of its destruction in 1441 by the Cividale people, the only remains of the manor are the tower, enclosure and residential domus foundations.

Thanks to numerous rebuildings and restorations, the castle chapel retains its integrity. In 1993 some archelogical researches were made, which unearthed several finds. Among them were several fragments of pottery, with interesting decorative motives, bronze objects, arrow spikes and armor parts, which dated back to the XIIIth and XIVth centuries.

The Soffumbergo Castle can be reached through the Via Castellana in Campeglio, a sidestreet on the way to Raschiacco.