Hidden treasures

The royal autographs of Catajo, a castle of wonders on the Euganean Hills

Historical Curiosities

The royal autographs of Catajo, a castle of wonders on the Euganean Hills

Catajo, a castle of wonders on the Euganean Hills a few kilometers from Padua, is a place full of stories to tell, mysteries, enigmas and quirky facts. 

Many have heard of it because of the legend of the murder of Lucrezia Dondi dell'Orologio, married to Pio Enea degli Obizzi di Padova, and whose blood is preserved in the castle imprinted on a stone on which the ill-fated woman fell lifeless... If you did not know about this story, which is still imbued in mistery, our Gametour ‘The mystery of the Amulet’ will unveil it to you whilst you are having fun! 

The Catajo Castle in Battaglia Terme (PD) served, almost from its very beginning, the purpose of a residence, as a private dwelling that could emphasize the worth and wealth of the Obizzis, a family of captains of fortune originating from Burgundy. Its members were not noble because of lineage, but rather because of  ‘war merits’.

It was because of their will that the castle was enriched by the wonderful cycle of frescoes by Zelotti, today in fact one of the most beautiful cycles in the Venetian villas. Zelotti was commissioned to celebrate the glory of the family through the representation of memorable episodes and allegories that could extol their virtues. 

However, the history of the Catajo castle was from its start that of a private residence, a real ‘home’ for both the Obizzis and, later, for the dynasty of the Asburgo D'Este family, who in 1803 received the complex from Tommaso Obizzi, who had died without children.

After becoming a de-facto residence for the Austro-Este family, the Catajo castle in Padua became even more connected to the European nobility and continued to be used as a stately residence, offering hospitality to numerous monarchs and public figures of the time during their visits to the area. Many of these left dedications written in pencil on the walls of the frescoed halls, which offer interesting glimpses of private life.

There are also the words used by the Archduchess Maria Beatrice D'Este from the age of 13 to record her height growth... just like children do in their bedroom. 

Come and join us for our Gametour ‘The mystery of the Amulet’ to discover these and many more intriguing anecdotes!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Verona: The roman walls of Verona

Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...