An ancient castle in Radicofani, Italy. Described by John Evelyn as:

On the summit of this horrid rock (for so it is) is built a very strong fort, garrisoned, and somewhat beneath it is a small town; the provisions are drawn up with ropes and engines, the precipice being otherwise inaccessible.

Detail from ”Radicofani/Assisi, anno 1660” by Jan Janssonius. 1664.  The castle can be seen on the mount in the distance. Source: BnF

The castle of Radicofani is described by M. De Blainville in the following way:

[Radicofani] ‘Tis built against: a Rock, which seems to have been fixed there, purposely that a Citadel might be raised upon it; in order to defend it against any Army which Should attempt to enter Tuscany. Cosmo I. of Medicis, built one ; and this is so strong, that it would be scarce possible to take it, in case it was furnished with all things necessary to its Defence. ‘Tis an irregular Pentagon, so built on account of its Situation;

Its Bastions, which are seen, and vastly strong, are all of Free-stone, with a large Tower in the middle ; and two Wells, which, ’tis said, can never be dried up. Its Arsenal is pretty well fortified with Cannon, but I counted only eleven that were mounted.

The present Garrison is inconsiderable, the Great Duke having no Apprehensions from the Ecclesiastical State. It consists of a Commandant, a judge, three Gunners, twenty Soldiers, and a dozen Priests. Here you will say. Of -what Use can all these Priests be? Methinks one Chaplain, or two at most, would suffice for so small a Garrison.  I made. Sir, just the same Remark ; and was answered, that there are two Churches in the Fortress, four in the Town, (tho’ so pitiful a one) and two without. The Great Duke, who is a most devout Prince, requires Divine Service to be performed daily in these Churches ; and will have the Soldiers, (a sort of Banditti) who garrison the Fort, there learn to become Saints ; they having time enough upon their hands for that purpose.


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