Be prepared because in this article you will see some places that are almost inaccessible, admiring what is inside the walls of this castle is very rare, this event happens only once a year and his story has something really hard to stomach.
Few years ago I had tried to go there after a couple of hours walking through trails starting directly from home, but with regret I found it closed to public because of its unstable structure.
Almost a month ago, during the mistletoe festival, with my great surprise and happiness it was opened to all those who wanted to visit it, with a guide who told us a lot of things about its recent and past history.
I got a real culture about it thanks to her, who said she was literally in love with this place, even considering it as a friend to tell her deepest secrets (I'm not joking, she really says like that).
I also had the opportunity to attend, in company of my partner and my mother, some improvised dances led by the musical duo "Enbe", composed of violin and accordion.
Here are some videos with the Castle panoramic views and folk dances!
The "ricetto", the part without buildings that is located after the entrance, inside the walls that takes its name from the word "shelter", has welcomed all the curious and interested in both visits and music.
Located in Saint Denis, Aosta Valley, the analyses carried out so far on his structures claim that it dates back to year 1027.
This manor has at its center a tower and around it some buildings, now almost in complete ruin. Situated on a height of 780 metres, it overlooks Chambave, the village below.
From up there you can see a large part of the valley, from Aosta to Saint Vincent (which are 25 kilometers away from each other), as well as a good part of the Alpine mountain range that envelops the region with the smallest surface area in the whole of Italy.
A spectacular view and above all an excellent strategic place in case of hostile attacks, a fundamental factor in the past.
Its "ricetto", in front of the central tower of which I told before, was used to welcome the inhabitants of the village in case of need such as hostile attacks and wars, they could reach it in a few minutes on foot through some trails that connect it to the center of the village.
It was originally a "gift" from the Savoy family to the Challand family (Cly branch). The Savoy family re-appropriated it years later due to disagreements with one of the family members but also because it was located in an excellent military location.
The Cly family has often been described as bloodthirsty, despite being related, they were the "rivals" of the more famous and renowned Challand, a powerful Aosta Valley family for many centuries.
It's not yet certain whether this despicable label was attributed to them only to make them look bad to their more famous cousins. Some expense books have been found in excellent condition, regarding the rebuilding of the roofs, the walls and the purchase of wood, the most expensive, however, was that of running water, thanks to the wooden pipes that wear out very easily.
After a few changes of ownership it was definitively abandoned in the 17th century and its decline was inevitable. You can still find in good condition the central fortified tower, currently 18 meters high and built in different historical periods, the chapel, the kitchens, the stables, the guardhouse and the castellan house.
Impossible to visit the inside of the few remaining buildings, except for those without doors and at the mercy of bad weather. It was used during the centuries as a prison, as it was the administrative and judicial authorities centre, and it is mainly linked to really bad events, such as witch hunts, a practice for us men of the new millennium without any sense but which unfortunately was often practiced at the time.
Johanneta Cauda was the first woman accused of witchcraft in this alpine area, she was accused of eating her grandchildren with a friend. She was imprisoned inside the tower for 71 days before being burned at the stake near the manor house on August 11, 1428, the day of Saint Lawrence, who is the patron saint of the village. From that day on, it was born the custom of the keeper to provide free wood and bushes for the stake.
The virtual tour is almost finished I hope that, thanks also to the photos I took and the videos I shot, you have been able to appreciate this location that I personally found simply fascinating and a little bit creepy!