The earlies records of this building date back to 1174, when it was erected as a German feudal castle.
The future Emperor Frederick II of Swabia spent several years of his childhood here in the care of Conrad of Urslingen, and was baptised in Assisi at the age of three in 1197.
The following year, in Conrad's absence, the people of Assisi rebelled and destroyed the castle.
The castle remained a ruin until 1367, when Cardinal Albornoz rebuilt the fortress using the western section of outside walls and part of the interior fortifications.
In 1458 Jacopo Piccinino, then lord of Assisi, erected the twelve-sided tower and the long curtain wall connecting the castle to the city.
In 1478 Pope Sixtus IV restored the castle's keep, while between 1535 and 1538 Pope Paul III built the round tower near the main gate.
An urge to do nothing
Just to walk the streets and paths of Assisi is the best thing to do - an irrestible urge to do nothing but take in these sights - slowly and with hope that you will be able to recollect each and every one. Some of the most remarkable views of the valley below Assisi are on another page.
Assisi - go there and you won't want to leave.
"In the Steps of Saint Francis"
It seems that it was much more difficult to leave Assisi than it was to get there. I was so fortunate to have made the trip with a dear friend who also wanted to make the journey for many years. One day in Assisi was not enough. I can't imagine how long it would take to trace the steps of St. Francis just there in Assisi and the surrounding countryside. There was an unmistakable aura of serenity and holiness in Assisi - it was a very humbling journey, indeed.
Rieti and the hermitage at Fonte Columbo is much less well known and much as it was 800 years ago. If you like Assisi - you will love Rieti!
A visit to St. Francis Basilica is a must with its early renaissance masterpieces of Giotto and Cimabue.
Select photos and information by permission Assisi Franciscan Resources for non-commercial purposes only.
If you like Assisi - you will love Rieti. We just added Rieti to our journey in the Steps of St Francis. Enjoy........
It is a spectacular evocation of medieval and Renaissance costumes and life. The two ancient medieval wards, the "Parte di Sopra" and the "Parte di Sotto" (the Upper City and the Lower Valley), engage in a challenges which take the form of theatre shows, concerts, songs and choruses, dances, processions, archery, crossbow and flag-waving displays. The districts compete in a singing contest among the spectacular floral decorations, flags, torches and candles.
"Street scene in Assisi"
The mystic town of Saint Francis, still surrounded by the ancient walls, is built on the green slopes of Mount Subasio with its colourful houses of pink stone. Narrow streets, flower-decked balconies, noble palaces, frescos inside and outside of the buildings all provide memorable views.