Castello di Issogne
Located on the opposite side of the Dora Baltea with respect to the castle of Verres, the castle of Issogne contrasts with it for its appearance. Unlike that of Verres, in fact, the Issogne castle appears to us as a Renaissance stately home.
The castle is one of the best known monuments in the Aosta Valley. Its features, such as the presence of the Italian garden, and the courtyard, whose walls are elegantly frescoed, make it a fundamental destination for those visiting the region.
The garden can be visited thanks to guided tours that immerse you in the life of a 15th century residence: the 15th century setting was desired and recreated, through everyday objects and furniture, by the Turin painter Vittorio Avondo, who bought it in 1872, and is It was then maintained by the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region, to which it now belongs.
A bit of history
After belonging to the Dukes of Aosta, the castle passed into the hands of the Challant family. It was between the end of the 1400s and the early 1500s that Giorgio di Challant, prior of Sant’Orso, radically transformed it to make it a sumptuous home for his cousin Margherita de La Chambre and his son Filiberto. It was then that the castle took on its current appearance: the splendid Italian garden was born, the portico and some private rooms were enriched with frescoes representing scenes of everyday life. The wrought iron fountain known as the “Pomegranate Fountain” was built in the garden, a symbol of prosperity.
In 1872 the house was sold at public auction and purchased by the Turin painter Vittorio Avondo, it became the subject of a careful restoration campaign that restored its ancient splendor. Today the castle belongs to the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region.
Surely those who entered the castle in ancient times must have been amazed by the frescoes “Miroir pour les enfants de Challant”, a sequence of coats of arms depicting the different branches of the family and the main alliances of the family. A curiosity: among all the heraldic coats of arms the one of Caterina is missing, who as we know, had problems with her brothers.
In the center of the courtyard there is the very delicate fountain, the pomegranate fountain. Built in wrought iron, the peculiarity of this fountain is that it has the small red fruits of the pomegranate, but the leaves are of the oak. This is the symbolism chosen to represent the family: the pomegranate fruits express fertility, while the oak symbolizes strength and union.
In the lunettes, the frescoes represent scenes of daily life of the late Middle Ages: there are the soldiers, while playing cards in a moment of relaxation, the baker intent on his work, the tailor’s shop, the market full of sellers, the butcher, etc .: in short, a real representation of medieval daily life, a great historical testimony! A peculiarity are the numerous graffiti left over the centuries by visitors and guests of the castle, by the servants or by the castellans themselves, testimonies of every era.
Castello di Issogne
11020 ISSOGNE (AO)
Telefono: (+39) 0125 929373
April – September every day 09.00 – 19.00
October – March 10.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 17.00 (closed on Mondays)
Full € 5.00
Reduced € 3.50
Minors € 2.00
Free for children up to 6 years, handicapped and accompanying persons, teachers and school attendants