Viaggi d'arte – I misteri di Castel del Monte in Puglia

Da lontano assomiglia a una corona o a un abbagliante fiore di pietra. O forse a un castello, connotazione trattenuta dal nome di questo monumentale edificio fatto costruire nel XIII dall’imperatore Federico II nei pressi di Santa Maria del Monte a pochi chilometri da Andria. Ma Castel del Monte, gioiello architettonico iscritto dal 1996 tra i patrimoni dell’Umanità dell’UNESCO – “per il rigore matematico ed astronomico delle sue forme e per l’armoniosa unione degli elementi culturali del nord Europa, del mondo islamico e dell’antichità classica” – di un castello ha ben poco. A sconfessare la funzione di fortezza concorrerebbero infatti diversi elementi: la posizione non strategica, l’assenza di saloni, fossati e scuderie, la presenza di feritoie troppo piccole per permettere il lancio di frecce. Inoltre la disposizione antioraria delle scale a chiocciola nelle torri avrebbe costituito, in caso di attacco, una sorta di trappola, costringendo gli occupanti del castello a impugnare le armi con la mano sinistra. Castel del Monte: la facciata principale | Foto: vololiberoUna costruzione per lo “stupor mundi” Il 29 gennaio 1240 – data che lascia tuttavia perplessi molti studiosi – Federico II Hohenstaufen avrebbe ordinato a Riccardo da Montefusco, giustiziere di Capitanata, di predisporre i materiali per la costruzione di un castello presso la chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte (oggi scomparsa). Avremmo visto maestranze di nazionalità diverse lavorare fianco a fianco per innalzare questo monumento che doveva forse rappresentare la corona imperiale posta a guardia della geografia del luogo e della storia di un’epoca. Federico II, d’altra parte, restò celebre per avere unito culture e civiltà diverse. Questa diversità è evidente anche in questa monumentale struttura, a cominciare dal portale dove figurano un arco in stile arabo, un timpano in stile greco-romano, o ancora bifore in stile gotico. Castel del Monte | Foto: © Sandra Pires via FlickrCastello, hammam o tempio del sapere? Il grande fascino esercitato da questo importante monumento che si erge da un bosco, nell’altopiano delle Murge occidentali, in Puglia, è offerto proprio dall’alone di mistero che lo avvolge. A cominciare dalla massiccia presenza di simbolismi che lo caratterizzano e da una ricorrente numerologia – che insiste sul numero 8 – che farebbe assomigliare la costruzione a una sorta di tempio del sapere dedicato allo studio delle scienze. Ma l’edificio potrebbe essere stato un centro per la cura del corpo sul modello dell’hammam arabo, data la presenza di ingegnosi sistemi di canalizzazione e raccolta dell’acqua, di cisterne per lo stoccaggio e delle più antiche stanze da bagno della storia. Secondo alcuni la sua forma richiamerebbe anche la corona ferrea indossata da Federico II e da tutti gli imperatori del sacro romano impero.Poche volte destinato ad accogliere feste, Castel del Monte svolse nella sua lunga esistenza la funzione di carcere, accogliendo, sotto il Regno di Manfredi, Marino da Eboli dopo la congiura del 1253. Bombardata nel 1528, la misteriosa architettura avrebbe anche ospitato una panetteria con mulino e un forno, per trasformarsi presto in covo per banditi, in ricovero per lebbrosi, in rifugio di carbonari, nel Risorgimento, e ancora in riparo per pastori o in punto di osservazione per tedeschi e anglo-americani durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale.Castel del Monte, capitello con mascherone | Public Domain via Wikimedia CommonsQuesto luogo era anche perfetto per la caccia al falcone, di cui Federico II era grande appassionato.Solo nel 1876 la struttura fu acquistata dallo Stato italiano che, date le condizioni di conservazione estremamente precarie, ne predispose il restauro a partire dal 1879. Il medievista Raffaelo Licinio propende per l’ipotesi secondo la quale l’edificio sarebbe parte integrante del sistema castellare del regno. Poco credibili interpretazioni vedono invece in questa misteriosa costruzione, al centro di leggende esoteriche più o meno antiche, un’opera dei templari. Un’architettura densa di simboli Ad accrescere il mistero e a destare curiosità è soprattutto la forma architettonica dell’edificio – adagiato su un banco roccioso, in molti punti affiorante – una sintesi rigorosa di conoscenze matematiche, geometriche e astronomiche. L’intero complesso poggia infatti su un ottagono, o meglio su una figura che oscilla tra il quadrato, simbolo della terra, e il cerchio, immagine del cielo, rappresentando un passaggio tra l’uno e l’altro. Anche la posizione del complesso risulta strategica, come se fosse stata appositamente calcolata per proiettare caratteristiche ombre nei giorni di solstizio ed equinozio. A mezzogiorno dell’equinozio di autunno, infatti, le ombre delle mura raggiungerebbero perfettamente la lunghezza del cortile interno. Due volte l’anno, invece, un raggio di sole entrerebbe dalla finestra nella parete sudorientale illuminando una porzione di muro dove prima era scolpito un bassorilievo.Castel del Monte | Foto: © Rafal Mikolajczuk Il cortile I rimandi al numero otto ritornano anche nella struttura del cortile – anch’esso di forma ottagonale – dove avremmo un tempo ammirato antiche sculture delle quali resta oggi traccia nella lastra raffigurante il Corteo dei cavalieri e un Frammento di figura antropomorfa. La luce scaturita dall’utilizzo della pietra calcarea – con i suoi riflessi che oscillano tra il bianco ed il rosato – della breccia corallina e del marmo bianco avvolge lo spettatore, immergendolo in un’atmosfera leggera, sospesa e fuori dal tempo. Secondo alcune fonti scritte, al centro del cortile, ci sarebbe stata un tempo una vasca ottagonale costituita da un unico blocco di marmo. Al di sotto del piano del cortile sopravvive un’altra grande cisterna per la raccolta delle acque piovane, l’unica rimasta funzionante, che andava ad aggiungersi alle altre cinque all’interno delle torri. Le alte pareti che racchiudono il cortile interno danno l’impressione di trovarsi all’interno di un pozzo, che, nella simbologia medioevale, alludeva alla conoscenza. Le sale interne e il numero 8 Alla figura del trapezio rimandano invece le sedici sale interne, otto per ciascun piano. Si possono distinguere le stanze con camini e disimpegni e quelle cosiddette di passaggio.A dominare nelle decorazioni delle varie stanze è la breccia corallina, mentre la pavimentazione, che oggi si conserva molto parzialmente solo nell’ottava sala, doveva presentarsi originariamente ricca di tarsie geometriche in marmo bianco e ardesia. Di particolare importanza risultava la “sala del trono”, dove, secondo la tradizione, l’imperatore avrebbe svolto incontri con la sua corte, o, in solitudine, era solito perdersi in pensieri e divagazioni. Da questa sala, inoltre, Federico II poteva alzare e abbassare la saracinesca del portone d’ingresso in caso di attacco. Qui la chiave di volta ci restituisce un volto umano con la barba, forse un fauno, un astrologo, un mago o un filosofo. Eppure non vi è alcuna certezza che l’imperatore abbia mai dimorato in questa fortezza.Le scale a chiocciola e gli antichi bagni Tre scale a chiocciola, inglobate in altrettante torri, collegano i due piani. Alcune accolgono cisterne per la raccolta delle acque piovane, altre ospitano i bagni, dotati di latrina e lavabo, affiancati da un piccolo ambiente, forse uno spogliatoio o probabilmente una sala destinata ad accogliere le vasche per abluzioni, secondo un’usanza tipica di quel mondo arabo così amato dal sovrano, grande amante della cura del corpo. Castel del Monte, modanatura delle scale a chiocciola | Public Domain via Wikimedia CommonsUna preziosa testimonianza di Castel del Monte è rappresentata dal corredo scultoreo che, sebbene depauperato nel tempo, ci lascia immaginare come doveva presentarsi l’originario apparato decorativo, evidentemente una festa per gli occhi, esaltata da tessere musive, piastrelle in maiolica e dipinti murali, dei quali resta traccia nelle pagine di alcuni scrittori e storici locali di Sette e Ottocento. A quali architetture rimanda Castel del Monte? A guardarla bene, la forma di questo misterioso monumento sembra riportare alla mente la Cupola della Roccia a Gerusalemme che Federico II aveva visto durante la sesta crociata, o la Cappella Palatina di Aquisgrana che custodiva le spoglie di Carlo Magno di cui Federico si sentiva l’erede.Dalle monete a Wonder woman: il successo di Castel del Monte Nel 1998 la curiosa sagoma di Castel del Monte fu scelta per la moneta da un centesimo di euro. Presente su stemmi, loghi e nella bandiera della Regione Puglia, l’architettura duecentesca ha anche ispirato la struttura della biblioteca del convento che ha offerto la location al film Il nome della rosa di Jean-Jacques Annaud. La fortezza di Andria figura anche nel videogioco Forge of Empires, oltre ad essere stata utilizzata, nel 2016, come location per il film Wonder Woman, per ricreare la fortezza sull’isola di Themyscira. Leggi anche:• Castel del Monte
Source: Arte NEWS

110 commenti su “Viaggi d'arte – I misteri di Castel del Monte in Puglia”

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