Castello di Zumelle

Castello di Zumelle

The landmark of Valbelluna.
History, fascination and legends. This is what you will find visiting this wonderful Castle,situated near Mel.
Erected in a strategic position,in order to control a Roman street, probably the Via Claudia Augusta or a variation of that.
In the Age of the barbarian invasions it became very important as it was the mainstay of the local system of defence, that guaranteed the connections between Feltre and Ceneda
Affascinating is also one of the Castle’s legends that tells about Gianserico, the mysterious protagonist and man of confidence of Amalasunta Queen’s of the Goths,that escaped with the handmaid Eudosia when his father died, after a conspiracy with Teodato, cousin of Amalasunta.The two lovers protected themselves in this manor, where they conceived two twins from which the name “castrum zumellarum” (the latin name of twins) comes from.

The Zumelle Castle is a manor, like the Andraz Castle, that still stands in the province of Belluno as a symbol of Mel and the whole Valbelluna. There is some debate about its origins because for the first time it was mentioned in a document dating back to 10 A.D. but someone dates its origins even earlier. Some experts believe that the castle was built on the site of a Roman watchtower near one of the hypothetical routes of the military road called Claudia Augusta Altinate, for others its origins are associated with the late antique or early medieval period. Whatever its origins are, Zumelle Castle is a gate-away to history, a place of emotions and re-enactments going back over the centuries. The castle stands on a rocky spur on the gorge of the Terche stream and can be seen from both the pre-Alps ridge and the valley.

Between the 9th and 12th centuries, it witnessed glorious moments: it was the object of ferocious clashes between the dioceses of Ceneda (Vittorio Veneto) and Belluno. Later, still in the 12th century, while in the hands of the Da Camino family, it saw its greatest expansion.

Over the years, the castle was destroyed and then rebuilt several times due to continuous battles until at least the 14th century. In 1422 the countryside around Mel became a feud of the Zorzi family from Venice and the castle lost its military prestige forever. Restoration works carried out in the Sixties revealed a small 11th century church with nineteen graves, as well as several stone structures.

Currently, after the restorations of the last century, the central heart of the manor, the mighty crenellated walls, the internal halls, the church of San Lorenzo, the tower, the moat and the Venetian well are visible and can be visited. Nearby the castle a tavern is run by the Associazione Sestiere Castellare.