• Culture

    Castles

    sentinels of time

CASTLES, TOWERS AND FORTIFIED HOUSES

In Aosta Valley the first castles, towers and fortified houses arose between the beginning of the eleventh and the twelfth centuries, often on top of previous fortifications. In the following centuries, the residential functions began to prevail over the defensive elements.

Whether you meet them along the trail or admire them in a panoramic position on the opposite side of the valley, the castles are ever-present travelling companions along the Balteo Trail.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Fort of Bard

Imposing nineteenth-century fortress along stage 23, it is today a cultural center which houses various museums, including the museum of the Alps, and important temporary exhibitions.  

Issogne Castle

Along stage 21, it houses surprising art treasures, such as the pomegranate fountain and the valuable frescoes of the portico lunettes.

Gamba castle

In Châtillon, along stage 20, the castle houses the regional collection of modern and contemporary art with over 150 works.

FÉNIS CASTLE

Towers and crenellated walls that evoke an adventurous and fairytale dimension, make the Fénis castle one of the most famous and most popular castles to visit in Valle d’Aosta (stages 19 and 20).

CASTLES, TOWERS AND FORTIFIED HOUSES AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE

Castles and towers
Grand Combin in the background

Balivi tower

Aosta

The Balivi tower (or “Tour du Baillage”), situated in Via Guido Rey, on the north-western corner of the Roman boundary wall, was built in the Middle Ages on the structures of the pre-existing Roman tower.

In 1263 Guglielmo De Palatio sold the tower to …

Castles and towers
Southern view

Bramafam Tower

Aosta

Bramafam Tower stands at the corner of Via Bramafam and Viale G. Carducci, along the southern side of the Roman walls.

Its official name is Bramafam Castle, but it is commonly referred to as the Tower. It has a circular rampart, with the Roman walls …

Castles and towers
The tower and the city walls

Fromage tower

Aosta

Situated north of Porta Praetoria, in the archaeological area of the Roman theatre and surrounded by original mediaeval houses, it gets its name from the noble De Casei family (later gallicized to Fromage) which occupied it in the middle ages.

First …

Castles and towers
Jocteau Castle - Alpine Military School

Jocteau Castle - Alpine Military School

Aosta

Built at the beginning of the 20th century in an eclectic style and situated on the Beauregard hill to the north-east of Aosta, the castle is the headquarters of the Alpine Military School of Aosta.

It is also known as the “Duca degli Abruzzi Castle” …

Castles and towers
The residence

Leper's Tower

Aosta

Ancient Roman fortified house, Leper’s Tower was transformed into a feudal residence by the noble Friour family, which appears in records since 1191.

In the 15th century the tower stair was built on the northern side to allow easier access to the …

Castles and towers
Eastern view

Pailleron tower

Aosta

Along the southern section of the walls, on the railway station square, there is the most representative tower of the ancient Roman perimeter, named “du Pailleron” because it was long used for hay storage.

The tower, with a square floor plan and open …

Castles and towers
Among the trees

Tour Neuve

Aosta

Situated on the corner of Via Tourneuve and Via Monte Solarolo, the ancient cylindrical tower, with battlements and door placed at safety height, emerges in the north-western part of the Roman walls, well-preserved and in an isolated green area. …

Castles and towers
Castles and towers

Vallaise Castle

Arnad

Built by the Vallaise family in the 17th century, the castle has 3 storeys flanked by 2 four-sided towers.

The internal façade opens onto the courtyard, wit a double arcade of light stone columns.

Interesting frescoes of ten fiefdoms owned by the …

Castles and towers
Castles and towers

Ville fortified house and tower

Arnad

In the hamlet of Ville stands a complex of buildings, currently in a state of decay and used as a rural dwelling, consisting of a fortified house and a tower, also known as Tor de l’Ohta. The square plan tower is missing its upper section and has walls …

Castles and towers
Quadrilateral tower

La Mothe Castle

Arvier

La Mothe castle dominates the village from the top of the hill. Unfortunately only the four-sided tower remains intact, while the ruins of the round tower and the perimeter wall are still visible.

The current appearance estimates construction of the …