Monte Ursino castle, from a watchtower to a fortified building
On the top of Monte Ursino promontory you can find the homonymous castle, that is one of the best preserved ancient defensive building in the whole Western Liguria. The castle was built in different phases: in origin there was only the main tower, as a control over the sea; in a second step, between the 11th and the 13th century, the castle was fortified, also with the building of the long wall that encircle the town (13th century). On the promontory, quite close to the castle, it is also possible to see some ruins of ancient medieval houses (“casazze” in ligurian dialect), that where built by the people of Noli to be more protected by enemy attacks from the sea, before the fortification of the town. You can reach the castle walking along the ancient stone way, with a wonderful view on the seaside, or driving through the paved road in Via Defferrari. At the promontory feet, at the beginning of the stone way to the castle, takes place the ancient Bishop Palace (now it is a luxury hotel). What we can see now, is the result of works on the building that were done between the 16th and the 19th century; so we don't know exactly the original structure of the palace; we are only sure about the presence of a private chapel inside the palace and of a jail for the clergy. Outside close to the palace there is the Church of “Nostra Signora delle Grazie”, that was built at the beginning of the 17th century.
The castle is accessible by individual or group of visitors, during the opening time.
To reach the castle, we suggest the walk along the ancient stone way, without the stress of taking the car and also to enjoy the wonderful seaside panorama.
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