Medieval Doors in Gioia

The legend goes that Emperor Frederic II, King of Sicily, King of Germany, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, King of Jerusalem all in the decade of the 1200s, ordered the incarceration of Bianca Lancia in the dungeon of the Castle in Gioia, Italy. To these days, nobody knows what crime she was accused of, maybe her only fault was her beauty, and that she was the lover of the Emperor, pregnant with his baby. At that time, it would have been good enough to lock her up to get her out of the public eyes. Once his baby, Manfredi was born, immediately inherited the Kingdom of Sicily.

On the dungeon’s walls, there are two balls carved in stone, they appear to be Bianca Lancia’s breasts, says the legend…. what a cruel fate reserved for lovers….!!!


Emperor Frederick II also surnamed “stupor mundi” (wonder or amazement of the world) seems to have been a well-liked Emperor then and now. He was a charismatic person with a fascinating polyhedral personality, spoke many languages, loved the arts and cultural innovations as a means to unify all races, and as often happens, his advanced thinking was contrasted by the Church. 

The theme of these painted doors is portraits of people and life in the 1200s depicting effigies of the Emperor’s era: soldiers, war scenes, courtesans, and lovers are all there to tell the story. Every few years, the city of Gioia organizes an international artist competition, during which artists choose one unpainted door and give space to their creativity in interpreting subjects Emperor Frederic II would have loved. These painted doors permeate the center of town with a great sense of history.

This is in response to the Thursday Door Challenge hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
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Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

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