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• Frederick II was a scholar
and an architect. He knew
Arabic as well as Latin,
and he was influenced by
all he'd seen on a crusade
into the Arabic world. He
founded the University of
Naples. He was also a
friend to the great
mathematician Leonardo
Fibonacci. King Frederick
died before the castle was
even finished.
• The Castle
Del Monte
was built in
1240 A.D.
• Just north of the heel in
Italy's boot sits the
Castle Del Monte.
It is situated on a small
hill close to the
monastery of Santa Maria
del Monte.
It lies in the commune of
Andria, occupying the site
of an earlier fortress of
which no structural
remains exist.
Apulia, Italy
Puglia, as it is called in
English, is Italy's boot heel,
its southeastern most region.
The entrance to and from the
East, it has been conquered
by legions of foreign rulers,
most of whom were cautious
to live elsewhere. The main
exception was Frederick II
(1194-1250), the last Emperor
of the Hohenstaufen line. An
open-minded man, he built
many castles which still grace
the region.
• It was used primarily as
a hunting lodge by
Frederick until his death
in 1250. It was later
turned into a prison,
used as a refuge during
a plague, and finally fell
into disrepair.