The Castle of CatajoHistorical Curiosities
The Castle of Catajo
Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just as many surprises!
We can find one example near Padua: the monumental Castle of Catajo, built by Pius Enea I Obizzi, whose family of Burgundian origins settled in Italy in 1007 with the ancestor Obicio I, a mercenary captain hired by the emperor Arrigo II.
The castle construction work was entrusted to the architect Andrea da Valle who completed it in only three years, from 1570 to 1573 (excluding the upper part, which was added in the 19th century), giving it an appearance halfway between that of a military castle and a royal villa, undoubtedly by will of the family who had commissioned its construction.
The name origin has been lost: it is believed not to come from ‘Catai’, the name used to refer to China in the Middle Ages, but rather that it refers to a 'Ca' Tajo, that is, ‘the seal of a digging’, possibly referring to the digging of the Battaglia Channel that cut in half many agricultural fields.
In 1571 Obizzi commissioned Giovanni Battista Zelotti (collaborator of Paolo Veronese) to fresco the interior walls with the great deeds of his family.
The last member of the Obizzi family died in 1803 and the castle passed into the hands of the archdeacons of Modena, Francesco V and his wife Adelgonda of Bavaria, who moved the court of the entire Estense family here, after having been exiled from Modena. With no heirs, Catajo passed to the Archduke of Austria, Francis Ferdinand. During these property transfers, the Armory and the Obizzi Museum, together with a large collection of musical instruments and paintings, ended up in several museums in Vienna.
After First World War, Catajo passed in the hands of the Italian government as a repair of war damage and was subsequently sold to private owners.
The beautiful Castle of Catajo is located in Battaglia Terme, at a short distance from Padua; it is open to the public from March to November and the entrance ticket includes a guided tour of the interior rooms and access to the historic garden... Take advantage of your stay in Padua and dedicate an afternoon to explore this amazing castle!
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