Castle of Montetortore

Castle of Montetortore

The Castle of Montetortore was mentioned for the first time in 1179 in a land donation. The etymology of the name is uncertain: the most likely versions include the derivation from the Latin turtur, turtledove or, with greater likeliness, from Mons trium turrium, that is, the mountain of the three towers.

Given its strategic and favourable position, the Castle and its fortified village were disputed between the municipalities of Modena and Bologna for a long time. The Castle was in fact in a position to prevent any further construction that would limit its view.

When it was destroyed in the first half of the 13th century, it was promptly rebuilt. Although alternate centuries of destruction and neglect are known, there are still some examples of the ancient building. Among these, some remains of walls, a pointed arched portal, one of the towers (later transformed into a bell tower) and a cistern covered by an imposing barrel vault.

The church of the Castle, which has been enlarged and damaged by bombing over time, has been completely restored. Its dedication to Saint Gimignano, maintained since the Middle Ages, has claimed the belonging of the Castle to the city of Modena over the centuries. The large vicarage, also restored, is the result of various construction phases around a primitive fifteenth-century centre, still testified by a sandstone portal bearing traces of fires and by loopholes of that period.

An ancient castle that has been disputed for centuries between Modena and Bologna