Galati Mamertino

Galati is first mentioned in 1081 as a member of the diocese of Troina.  It would seem likely that a castle already existed there as the current remains show some Roman tiles built into the ruins.  Presumably this fortress was Byzantine and was given as a lordship called astu to Eleazar Mauvelier in 1116.  In 1123 he founded the church of St Anna ‘in castro Galati'.  In 1154 Edrisi described Galati as ‘a defensible fortress between lofty mountains, populated and prosperous'.  Over a century later the castle crops up again as belonging to Bernard de la Grange of Longi and Galati in 1276.  Presumably he was removed during the Sicilan Vespers and in 1291 both these places were given by Prince Frederick (d.1337) to Richard Lancia.  His descendants lost the land in 1392 when King Martin (d.1409) granted it to Bartholomew Aragona in 1392 as a consequence of the rebellion of Perrucchio and Corrado Lancia.  A decade later in 1402 the lands and castles of Ficarre, Galati, Pilayni et Brolo were returned to the Lancias.  As late as 1558, Galati was regarded as a fortified settlement, but in 1750 it was merely a ruined fortress.

The castle lies on the top of a rocky hill, with the town lying below it to the south.  To the north is a cliff, while to east and west the ground drops away less steeply.  The castle consists of a rubble built polygonal enclosure with a hall block (55' east to west and 30' north to south) to the north.  Further rectangular buildings lay along the east front.  There appears to have been no flanking and most of the defences on the south and west fronts have gone.

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


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry