Castle destroyed in 1225 and rebuilt in the thirteenth century.
It is the only one left of six once existing on the surrounding hills.
It is privately owned and used as a dwelling.
• Availability: private property | not open to visitors.
As evidence of the historical past of Calamandrana, the great castle dominates the ancient village and the valley, the only remaining of the six existing on the surrounding hills.
The first mention of the name “Calamandrana” appears in a public document of the year 1129 where it refers to a “manso”, that is to a farm of this territory donated by the castellan Guglielmo, son of Amedeo, to the monastery of Santa Maria near Acqui. The territory of Calamandrana was owned by Bonifacio Del Vasto, who ceded it to the San Marzano di Canelli, subdued in Alessandria at the beginning of the 13th century.
Original fortified complex was destroyed and immediately rebuilt during the 13th century. Destruction dates back to 1225; in that year, under its walls, there was a bloody battle between Astigiani and Alessandrini, who came to arms to decide who would touch the supremacy in the Belbo valley.
The victorious Alexandrians razed the castle of Calamandrana to the ground, considered by them a serious threat. The fortification was rebuilt towards 1237, when the territory returned, definitively, among the Astesi properties by Federico II.
At that time the octagonal tower dates back, of a typology without comparison in the area, and the eastern termination, also polygonal, of the castle (the part is still in stone today).
In the fourteenth century Ottobono Del Carretto invested in the fief the Marquis Giovanni di Monferrato, Calamandrana returned among the possessions of Monferrato, was granted to the Marquisate of Incisa and in 1305 passed to the Asinari. The next step saw the Visconti come to power.
In 1611, the Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga granted the castle to his wife Eleonora De Medici. In 1657, at the death of Eleonora De Medici, the castle of Calamandrana was given by the Duke of Mantua to the Marquis Giovanni Maria Testa Piccolomini, lord of Kinitz, and in 1672 at the death of the Marquis, Duke Ferdinando Carlo gave the fief to the prefect major Matteo Quinziano.
In the seventeenth century, around the original octagonal tower, raised by the saw-tooth frieze up, the Marquis Francesco Maria Piccolomini had the castle rebuilt.
The complex suffered considerable damage during the earthquake of 1889 and, for fear of collapse, the loggia was demolished and the tower was cut off, which was rebuilt in 1963 with hand-made salvage bricks and as faithful as possible to what was supposed to be the original, inferable from the Gonin prints.
Today the building has a rather irregular planimetric layout and is partly plastered and partly made of exposed bricks and stones.
Underground structures are preserved: cellars, walkways and the cistern of the ancient fortress. In 1983, it was the renovation of the ceiling of the nineteenth-century salon.
The castle of Calamandrana is surrounded by a large park and can be reached via a steep and winding road; after passing the gate, the climb continues along an avenue that leads to the characteristic drawbridge.
Currently, the castle, dominated by the imposing octagonal tower, is privately owned, and is used as a dwelling.