Did you know that Cartignano was the only centre in the Maira Valley to be governed by a feudal lord? The only castle in the valley still survives today. Berardi Castle stands on the right bank of the Maira River, in a strategic position for sightings over the valley.
The castle, also known as the Castle of the Farina family, after the name of its last owners, was built in 1440, by the Berardi family of San Damiano, as an engraving on the portal shows. The interior staircases, embellished with marble columns, bear on their carved capitals the coats of arms and blazons of the families that succeeded one another in the property.
At the end of the 16th century, Duke Carlo Emanuele took possession of it, and the Berardi family got it back in 1601. In 1609 it was sold to Claudio Cambiano, lord of Ruffia and Digrasso, who restored the building. In 1820, the castle passed to the notary Emanuele Massimo and in 1900 the last heirs of the castle were the Farina family, who enlarged it, built a crenellated brick tower and embellished it with Baroque stuccoes.
Its distinguishing features are its towers, one circular and the other square. During World War II, the castle was partly destroyed by fire in 1944. The exterior walls are still in good condition, while the interiors are in ruins.
Interesting are the 19th-century frescoes in the ancient chapel, depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, the Nativity of Christ and the Wedding at Cana. It is a pity you cannot visit the dungeons, where you can still see the prisons, a small cell and the well.
How to visit the site
Can only be visited externally
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