Viterbo. Frederick II palace

The thirteenth century was characterized by a strong fight between the Papacy and the Empire for temporal power on earth and, in this century, the dominant figure was certainly that of Frederick II of Swabia.

In 1239 Viterbo invokes the protection of the emperor against the expansionist aims of Rome and Frederick II begins by appointing some of his trusted men to the government of the city and building an imperial palace. In 1240 Frederick II was acclaimed by the crowd in Viterbo and decided to build his own representative castle. In that year he authorizes Viterbo to issue money and to establish its own mint.

The area of ​​Poggio del Tignoso was chosen, which was partly in the urban fabric and partly on the outside and the works were to be completed in the official visit of the emperor in 1247. A palace

In reality the works were slowed down by the plague and by continuous skirmishes between Guelph and Ghibelline families (supporters of the pope and supporters of the emperor), and the palace was only partially finished and in its rooms the oath of loyalty of Viterbo to Frederick II took place. .

With the death of the emperor in 1250, the politics of Viterbo changed completely and the city took sides with the papacy to the point that it would then host the same seat of the papacy for a few years.

The palace-fortress of Frederick II, which had not been completed, is dismantled and some of its stones are used to build the city walls and today you can see the foundations and some underground rooms, perhaps the prisons, on Viale Raniero Capocci.

Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

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