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The Castle Of Torrechiara..“Outside Fortress, Inside Alcove”
Located in Langhirano – Parma – Italy
This is undoubtedly the most spectacular and well-planned castle as well as the one with the greatest number of visitors in the province of Parma, and also houses musical events in summer.This manor house is found at an altitude of 278 m. a.s.l. on a walled platform at the top of a terraced hill with cultivations to the left of the Parma river along the road to Langhirano.
Documents mentioning the fortification at Torrechiara date back to 1259 when the ‘Podestà’ of Parma ordered its demolition, and two years later forbade its reconstruction. The present castle was built in 1448-60 by Pier Maria Rossi with an extremely successful combination of defensive and residential elements which ensure that it has remained one of the most pleasant aesthetic expressions in the territory.
The plan is rectangular, with four towers contained in the nucleus and connected by crenellated Ghibelline walls (there is a double tower which stands taller than the others): the resulting rectangular courtyard (Court of Honour, 26.55 m in length) has an arcade running along one side with cross vaulting and brick columns (first order) and sandstone columns (second order), corresponding to those on the second floor.
Towards the end of the 16th century two loggias were built on the eastern side, creating a ‘belvedere’ which overlooks an open panorama and enriches the architecture with chiaroscuro effects.
In 1985 the Castle of Torrechiara was used as movie set of the film Ladyhawke by Richard Donner with Rutger Hauer – Matthew Broderick – Michelle Pfeiffer – John Wood