Perhaps it was the Mondonio's family who wanted to build a castle in this location.
According to oral tradition, as early as the late 1100s only a fortification existed on the hill of Mondonio, while the village remained located at the bottom next to the church of Raseto.
Therefore, the geographic-political situation at a certain period of the Middle Ages turned out to be as follows: Mondonio and Pino d'Asti governed by local seigniories, later subjected to the Marquises of Monferrato, bordering the county of Cocconato ruled by the Lords of Radicata, also allies of the Monferrato and with Castelnuovo, linked to the Republic of Asti.
One can well understand, therefore, the defensive position in which our border fief must have found itself, so much so that a strong castle had to be built.
From the few remains that have come down to us, we can assume that Mondonio was surrounded by at least two circles of walls, within which stood the castle with several towers and a chapel. A door to the second enclosure was located, according to De Canis (in his Corografia Astigiana, 1814), just before the current oven.
Just as a deep moat surrounded the manor, following its bed the streets of S. Rocco, Cavallone, Turco, then flowing into the current Piazza Balbo precisely into a large pond, which until the mid-800 could still be seen.
Another tower must have stood where the terrace of the parish house now stands, and another near the house known as the Piasset next to the bowling alley.
Few vestiges of the field have been handed down to us: a part of a wall bordering the castle in via Cavallone, the foundations of the parish house, where fragments of a tower rise from its cellars, and several parts on which the present castle is founded including mighty walls with loopholes and ancient windows.
Then there is the tower beside the castle, located right on the highest point of the village, built, according to some, in the first part of 1160. It is a lookout tower that perhaps also served as a signal tower. It has no external access but only two windows and several loopholes; you get there through a basement connected to the sign today completely impractical.
Countless are the shafts and tunnels, some brick, that populate the top of the hill. Who knows where all these dungeons lead? Certainly some gave access into the open countryside the only way out and salvation when the castle was besieged. We know that many times Mondonio was put to the sword by its enemies.
One of the bastions that controlled the first city wall was located at the end of Via Giunipero, in the place called “courtyard of the Peila”. And another, of configuring the features, was located at the top of Via S. Rocco.
Given this approximate reconstruction, it appears that Mondonio must have presented itself in those times as a strong castle with towers, ramparts, bastions that certainly gave the attackers a hard time. The almost total destruction of this fortification occurred in the late 1400s.
- MONDONIO (castello dei Turco)
GAL BMA - Gruppo di Azione Locale del Basso Monferrato Astigiano
- Comune di Castelnuovo Don Bosco (AT)