Favara castle is otherwise known as Castello dei Chiaramonte.  It is thought that Favara was an Arab settlement originally called Fawa-warah which means ‘water source'.  The castle existed in the twelfth century when it was held by King Tancred (d.1194), unless this was Maredolce Alla Favara.

By 1296 the castle was held by Giovanni (John) Chiaramonte (d.1339), a brother of Manfred Chiaramonte (d.1321) of Caccamo.  He or one of his successors gave it its current name and the castle remained with them until the execution of Andrew Chiaramonte in 1392.  During Chiaramonte rule the population seems to have increased from about 100 to 250 inhabitants.

After the fall of the Chiaramontes, the fortress was then sold by King Martin (d.1409) to Raymond Moncada Peralta of Alcamo.  In 1398, he also was accused of treason, convicted and stripped of all his property and the castle went to Emilio Perapertusa.  His successors restored the castle in 1488.

The fortress was last damaged in 1964/65 when the municipal council altered it for its own use.  These damages were repaired during a restoration at the turn of the century.

The current castle would appear to be merely the keep or inner ward.  Originally it seems to have been surrounded by an outer wall with 4 towers at the angles.  The last of these was demolished in 1820 together with its adjoining crenellated wall.  The remains now consist of a rectangular structure approximately 80' square with a central courtyard about 30' across.  The whole has been much altered since its completion.  The main entrance to the south consists of 2 Romanesque arches, the outer one of which has been partially filled by a later ogival doorway.  Most of the original doorways also appear Romanesque.  The rubble built walls, like the interior, show many signs of rebuildings over the centuries, while windows vary from single light slits to twin light Romanesque and ogival openings.

Why not join me here and at other Sicilian castles?  Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly Sojourns.


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry