Patellaro castle stands in an isolated position on the edge of the plateau between Contessa Entellina and Bisacquino.  In 1154 Idrisi recorded Battalari castle as an hisn of antiquity and beauty, while in 1182 it was recorded as being inhabited by Arabs when it, like Calatamauro castle, was handed over to King William's foundation of Monreale cathedral.  The castle must have survived for a long time after this, but nothing is known of it.  Currently the ruins are part of a farm.

The stands on a low, isolated hill 1,800' above sea level and overlooking the plain to the northeast.  The castle forms a large polygonal enclosure about 200'x150', with the bulk of the buildings on the most accessible west side.  There are more modern farm buildings built into the remains running roughly centrally north to south across the site.  The main defences lie to the west and consist of 2 rectangular towers.  Entrance was probably gained to the southwest.  There are the remnants of a large projecting rectangular structure to the southwest.  To the northwest, behind the biggest mural tower, is a hall block and associated buildings with vaulted basements and Romanesque arches. 

The eastern two thirds of the castle consist of an open rocky area running up the small hill to the northeast which acts as a kind of motte.  Surprisingly there seems to have been no attempt to fortify this natural knoll, other than pass over it with the curtain wall.  The east curtain is irregular and thin, making the whole area to the north and east of the main fortress and farm, look like a large, later outer enclosure.  Despite this, the fact that the south and north curtains look contemporaneous with the rest of the structure, suggests that the whole was created at the same time.  An isolated rectangular tower on the reverse side of the hill, to the northeast also appears to be part of the defences.

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