Among the things to see in Castellabate there is certainly the Castello dell’Abate, a fortress built in 1123 with a defensive purpose, that is to protect the people from Saracen attacks. In fact, the castle has internal walls and four towers placed at the corners. Everything that was inside was thus hidden. During the visit it is also possible to access the underground, from which, it is said, marine locations could be reached in case of attacks and invasions. Today the seat of the castle is the set for artistic and cultural events.
The Abbot’s Castle is the toponym of CASTELLABATE and derives precisely from the construction of the castle, in the 12th century, by the Benedictine monastery of the Santissima Trinità of Cava dei Tirreni, to defend the lands acquired through donations and the resident population from Saracen incursions. The deed of foundation of the castle was signed on 10 October 1123 by San Costabile Gentilcore, IV abbot of the Abbey of Cava dei Tirreni, and Guglielmo I Norman. San Costabile, a native of the promontory of Tresino, did not see this work finished due to his death on February 17, 1124; the work, in fact, was completed by his successor Blessed Simeone, the abbot of the abbey of Cava dei Tirreni. Of the Norman structures, a stretch of wall is still visible in the NORMAN ROOM, the Mastio tower in the courtyard. In the fifteenth century the appearance of the castle was completely changed with the expansion of its volume and the construction of four defense towers connected by walkways with compartments for positioning cannons. The South-East section is still visible with the two towers facing the town (the only ones that have come down to us) and the “Camminamento Aragonese”. In the 17th century the castle lost its defensive function and became exclusively a noble palace. The raising of the first residential floor dates back to this period, while the construction of the second floor can be dated to the following century.
Located almost in the center of the current building, on the ground floor, the Norman area is the oldest in the castrum. Pertaining to the primitive castle, is the wall with loopholes (windows) which was originally the southern limit of the Norman castle, founded on 10 October 1123 by Costabile Gentilcore IV abbot of the abbey of Cava dei Tirreni and our patron saint, and Norman William I, prince of Salerno. The subdivision of the room into two parts by an arch and the covering of them with cross vaults took place in later periods.