Castello Estense, Diedo, Da Mula, Traves dei Bonfili

Via Castello , 2 - 45031 - Arqu Polesine (RO)

Build in: 1500    
Environmental context: Urban
The fortress of Arquà, erected in 1146, commonly known as Castello Estense, is one of the few buildings in Italy that has the double enrolment in both the Castle Register and Historical Dwelling Register. The architecture is medieval and is the best preserved in the all province, as well as the unique physical proof of the large fortification net than used to control Canal Bianco. The building was erected on the will of Guglielmo III Marchesella degli Adelardi, Lord of Ferrara, to defeat the Estes in the territory of Rovigo. Shortly, in 1187, the building became propery of the Estes. With the entire region of Polesine, then, the castle of Arquà in 1395 became property of the Most Serene Republic of Venice in exchange for financial credit. The Venetians established in there a military district, equipping the castle with a garrison. The original difensive configuration, that was necessary to keep one of the most important places of Polesine, was lost after the victory on the so-called Salt War (circa 1480-1484). After the years between 1438 and 1482, when the building came back to the Estes, the Republic of Venice gave it, at the end, to the Diedos. In the XVI Century every builded military fortress were shot down, except for the castle of Arquà because its location was strategically important, as it was the only way to reach Canal Bianco and Po River, that meant the territories near Ferrara. The Diedos, family with probable Venetian origins, converted the castle in a comfort and luxurious noble dwelling in the countryside and embellished it with frescos, shotting down one of the guard towers.    
Excellences of the context: HUNTING MANSION The structure is an example of Ferrara’s rural architecture. In the inside, the building is divided in a central hall, with timbers, from where it is possible to access to the other rooms. On the posterior façade there are noble crests. The surrounding walls were built in the XVIII Century. In 1850 the garden were converted in a park with bridges, caverns, water games, several plants and paths full of historical evidences. It was also built a neo-gothic tower. The tale tells that the building was connected to the castle with a secret passage. It is exposed to the road the crosses the town in east-west direction, while at that time it was separated from the city centre and near to an ancient path made in roman age. Originally built as service construction by Alberto V of Este, marquise of Ferrara and Modena, at his death in 1393, was given in heritage to his son, Nicolò III, that was full of debts and, in 1412, gave it to the noble Andrea Durazzo with the obligation of vassalage. In the middle of XVI Century it was expanded and two more wings were erected, with some other rooms, a cantina and some atticts. In 1720, after other renovations, the building had the resemblance of the XVIII Century and in 1752 it was given to the bishop Pellegrino Ferro. In 1756 it was bought by the noble family named Cavalli, in 1760 by the Cecchettis that, at the beginning of XIX Century, made some renovations. The current owners are heir of the Cecchettis. Antonio Cecchetti made an industrial orchard. During World War II it became a refuge for displaced persons then, divided, it was rent out. In 1968, as ruin, it was renewed by the architect Conato.    
Excellences of the Villa: the complex is surrounded by a channel with trees that in the inside is surrounded by a huge park. The complex still has the only existing crenellated tower with four floors and colonnade. At the entrance of the castle there is an ashlared arch; starting from it, a long wing extends to the colonnade that open up to a wide garden, through thirteen baroque arches supported by massive pillars. In the inside the halls have recently renewed frescos (circa 600 sm) from the XVII Century that illustrate the history of the Diedos and mythological scenes, among which the legendary story of Fetonte, related to the Po River. It is supposed that the castle used to have two towers, as wrote in a 1377 document and in a 1520 iconography, where the castle of Arquà was represented with two towers and a lower body in the middle. The existing crenellated tower is an element of huge interest; it was built in brickwork and it has an height of 26,10 meters. It is divided in four floors connected by a brick stairs. Every floor is squared and made up by a unique space; at the ground floor there is a barrel vault ceiling, while the other floors have a groin vault ceiling. Every floor has also round arch windows. The original pavement no longer exist due to the past renovations.
The castle hosts the city offices as city hall location. It i salso used for congresses and cultural events.



The villa is opened all year.
Opening times: From Monday to Saturday 9:30/12:30
Sunday closed
Visits: halls, park
Services: Bar, Car Park, Public Toilets, Guided Tours, Photos allowed, Bus Park, Congress and Events halls, Garden



The castle of Arquà Polesine is located in the city centre, about 10 chilometri from Rovigo, along the road to Ferrara.
Distances: Rovigo Km 10 - Ferrara Km 30.
By Plane: Venezia km 96 - Verona km 100 - Treviso km 100 - Bologna km 75.



Via Castello, 2
Arquà Polesine (RO)



N. Catalogue I.R.V.V.: A0500000720

Tel: 0425 91051  -  Fax: 0425 91766

The displayed contents were given by the owners of the structures.





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