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The most important building of Fumone was the fortress that today corresponds to the famous Castle.

The first official document attesting to its existence dates back to 962 DC when the emperor of Germany, Saxon Ottone I of Saxony, donated to Pope John XII through the Privilegium Othonis, the Fumone fort with the cities of Teramo, Rieti, Norcia and Amiterno.

In the castle there is the cell in which, it is said, Celestine V died, the hermit Pope who in December 1294 renounced the papal throne. Here you will find the original hanging gardens over 800 meters above sea level and a museum.

The castle is said to be inhabited by a ghost.

To understand the origin of Fumone as more than a castle one has to think of a tower with a dominant view and signaling function. Everything that arose around was indispensable to the survival and immunity of those who allowed the activities and operation of the site.

The set of fortifications consisted of the following parts: the actual castrum, defining the fortress, with the series of towers and external wall sections. Then the fortress that was on top of the mountain, at the center of the castrum circuit, furnished with its walls.

It completed the military part of the tower guarded by the walls of the fort and the seat of the highest view of the inner fortification, destined for a contingent of soldiers. Finally, the houses, extending between the fortress and the castrum walls, accommodated all other members of the military garrison.

Fumone was one of the main castles of the Patrimonium Sancti Petri in Lower Lazio, belonging to a defensive network of fortresses directly subject to the Church, and including Paliano, Serrone, Lariano, Castro dei Volsci. All these were related to the authority of the pontiff by an oath of fidelity and legally bound by contract for use depending on improvements.

It had a very important role throughout the Middle Ages that provided protection against the incursions of Saracens, Lombards and Normans into Rome.

The impregnability of the fort was confirmed on two important occasions: in 1155 when it was in vain attacked by Federico Barbarossa, and in 1186 when it was the only one to resist and saw the defeat of Henry VI Hohenstaufen, Barbarossa’s son.

In 1230 Pope Gregory IX finally recovered the fortress and took possession of the custodians after the release of several pounds of gold as a liberal indemnity.

Fumone then turned into a military stronghold and a papal prison and into which first-class persons were imprisoned after it was purchased in 1588 by the Longhi family, a noble Roman family whose bonds with the Fumone fortress had existed since 1290.

To be exact, It was purchased by Marquis Giovanni Longhi, Patrizio Romano, Knight of the Speron d’Oro, and Count Palatine of Pope Sisto V, who transformed it into a noble residence, creating a characteristic Italian garden on the ruins of the defensive walls and the central tower.

The palace is made up of several other buildings, some dating back to the Middle Ages and others between 1600 and 1800 and inside it is the cell where Celestino V, the hermit-pope died, after he abandoned the papal throne in December 1294.

The adjoining chapel, with a circular plan, dates back to the beginning of the 18th century, which substituted for the original that was perhaps erected after the canonization of 1313. In the present chapel there is an altar above which is preserved an effigy of the Saint Molise.

In the Castle there is the house-museum Ada and Giuseppe Marchetti Longhi, an apartment that was inhabited by the important Roman archeologist, which houses 19th-century furnishings and collections of historical and anthropological interest

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