The Orsini Castle

it stands over and dominates the entire medieval town

The Orsini Castle Is the symbolic building of the whole town

The Orsini Castle is the symbolic building of the whole of Soriano nel Cimino, where it stands over and dominates the entire medieval town. Built starting from the 13th century, it was later enlarged and modified over the centuries by the various families who owned it. In 1278, under the Lordship of the Orsini, construction was completed on the Castle and the Rocca (Fortress), which became the summer residence of Pope Nicholas lll, who died here in 1280. In the 19th century, ownership of the Castle and the feudal appurtenances was assigned to Alessandro Chigi, a pupil of the Albani, who in 1848 renounced his rights in favour of the Holy See. Starting from this time the Orsini Castle’s life as a dwelling ceased, with it becoming a prison facility first under the Holy See and then from 1870 under the Italian State.

The Castle today

It later became a maximum security prison, which was closed in the early nineties.
This transformation into a detention facility has in fact distorted the entire structure of the Castle. The works of art have given way to cells and large gates, creating a unique experience for visitors, far from the fairytale idea of a castle, but with the human and mysterious appearance of a fortress and protective building. After the prison closed, the complex suffered several vicissitudes. Today it is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday, and is home to permanent and temporary exhibitions.

What to see

Inside the castle there are two permanent exhibitions:

  • “From Organs to Talking Machines” is a unique sensory and cultural experience thanks to a rich and working collection that ranges from the invention of Edison’s phonograph, through gramophones, up to vinyl. Visiting the exhibition, you are completely immersed in an atmosphere of times gone by, and you will be amazed and enchanted by these instruments over a hundred years old and still in perfect working order, creating magical and evocative sounds.
  • “Rural Civilisation of Tuscia” is the exhibition laid out on the Orsini Castle’s main floor, consisting of tools and equipment belonging to Tuscia’s rural culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. A rich and comprehensive journey discovering ancient customs linked to food and wine and traditional crafts.

A visit to the merlon in the keep, from where it is possible to admire the surrounding landscape, is highly recommended.

Spesa finanziata dalla Regione Lazio Determinazione n. G04816 del 09/05/2016 e s.m.i.
Avviso pubblico “Reti di Imprese tra Attivit√† Economiche su Strada”

Copyright © 2019 Conosci Soriano

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