The restoration

 

When Castel del Monte was acquired by the Italian State in 1876, the external wall curtainswere seriously damaged by the atmospheric agents: temperature, humidity, and wind action. The state of things inside was not less precarious: some vaults had fallen to pieces, some others were threatening to fall in consequence of the abundant infiltration of rainwater from the flat roof.

In 1879 Engineer Sarlo started the first phase of the restoration work by impermeabilizing the roofs and the hanging tanks, consolidating the structures and equipping the windows with casings; in this period the fragment of the mosaic floor reappeared in the 8 th hall on the ground floor.
 Architect Quagliati conducted the works since 1928:  he provided to clear away all the resultant material banked against the outdoor walls till an height  between two and two and a half metres, which completely hid the basement and misrepresented the relationship between the monument and the surrounding.  He provided,  moreover, to tear down the external structures considered not coeval and to reconstruct the external staircase. At the same time he substituted the deteriorated ashlars with others more or less alike, quarried from the neighbouring pits.

This work went on for decades and aroused lively controversies.  Some experts feared that removing the original stones in such a massive way would run the risk of substituting the ancient castle with a too new one.
 These interventions and the following ones with the technique of "stitching and unstitching", according to the methodological principles followed in the sixties, have given to the monument a really much younger aspect. And yet the deterioration of the building didn't stop. So, between 1975 and 1981 further and conspicuous works on the wall curtains were necessary. They are still subject to a periodical activity of maintenance and repairs, owing to the difficult weather conditions of the site.    (M.T.)

 

photo of the entrance of the castle before the restoration worksPhoto of the inner courtyard before the restoration worksphoto of the castle after the restoration worksPhoto of the inner courtyard after the restoration works