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  • Entrance of Staggia Castle, Poggibonsi.zoom in altra finestra
  • Staggia Castle, Poggibonsi.zoom in altra finestra

Castello dei Franzesi di Staggia [Franzesi Castle of Staggia]

The earliest news of the village of Staggia dates back to the period between the 10th and 11th centuries. Developing in the vicinity of the Via Francigena, it first belonged to the Soarzi family (12th and 13th centuries) and then to the Franzesi, a wealthy family of merchants from the Upper Valdarno. Following their bankruptcy, the castle was purchased by the Republic of Florence, which fortified it in 1372, in order to transform it into a stronghold against the Sienese. About sixty years later, around 1431, further reinforcements became necessary and were carried out under the supervision of Filippo Brunelleschi.

Still today, the village conserves its walls of 1372 with its squared and polygonal towers, along with two of the three original gates. It also presents two peculiar characteristics: the division of the castle into two compounds divided by a curtain wall with the square stronghold in the middle (quite a rare solution in Tuscany), accessed by means of an elevated ramp, which made it independent with respect to the road traffic of the northeast gate below.

For a long time left in a state of semi abandonment, the complex is presently being restored: it is expected to soon become an accommodations facility.


Texts by Elena Fani

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 16/feb/2008