It is claimed that a castle of Arab origin was standing at Termini around 970 when Al-Muqaddasi stated that Tirmah was a Sicilian city.  Obviously a city does not mean a castle actually stood here, though such a scenario is possible.  A castle would seem to be standing in the city by 1130 when Termini was a civitas and castellum.  In the Book of Roger of 1154 the castle was described as the fotress of Tirmah standing on a rock above the sea near the remains of the ancient city.  In 1185 Ibn Gubayr noted that Termini was a large settlement with mosques and an elevated and defensible fortress.  In 1274 the castle, as castrum thermarum, was held for the Angevin King Charles (d.1285) by solely a gatekeeper.  By 1281 he had been upgraded to a squire, who was not to hold property in the kingdom.  The next year the castle passed to the Aragonese, but on 19 June 1338 the Angevins returned and laid siege to the fortress until they were chased away by the Sicilian army.  In 1393 it was recorded that Gisperto Talamanca had the job of guarding the royal castle.

Unfortunately the castle was totally destroyed in the decades following 1860 and now only the site remains in a commanding position on an isolated cliff which now houses a water plant.

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