Monasterolo del Castello | Itinerari e percorsi
The manor house on the lake that was saved by an English countess who travelled the world
In the 1930’s, this captivating castle on Lake Endine was in danger of collapsing: decades of neglect had left the thousand-year old residence a virtual wreck. Then in 1937, Countess Winifred Terni de’ Gregory Taylor chose it as her country home and restored it. The walls regained their splendour and the gardens blossomed once more. Between the Middle Ages and today the castle has undergone continual transformations, but still preserves its fascination intact.
London, Dresden, Munich, Montreux and then the lake: Countess Winifred fell in love with the landscape of Lake Endine, not far from Crema, where she settled after a youth spent travelling the world. Passionate about history of art and architecture, the noblewoman decided to rescue the castle and it was thanks to her that the hamlet of Monasterolo did not lose its mediaeval manor house.
Right here on this hill, since the year dot.
According to tradition, there was a Benedictine monastery on this site before the castle. The monastery is believed to have been destroyed at the time of Charlemagne and was never reconstructed. Monasterolo is mentioned in historical documents as a fort offering protection to the local populace during invasion by enemy troops in the early mediaeval era, around the year 1,000BC.
In the 1200’s the Ghibelline Suardi family used it as a defensive stronghold, while during the Renaissance the edifice became a prized residence, losing its military significance, but still remaining a fortified domain, with walls on three sides and the lake on the fourth.
From the 1700’s onwards the castle began its decline, but fortunately the arrival of the Countess with her passion for the arts ensured the conservation of the splendid gothic portal, the wall-walks and the little Oratory of Sant’Anna del Seicento (Saint Anna of the 18th century).
Today Monasterolo Castle is in private hands and hosts receptions, while in its park, which is among the most important in northern Italy, one can find more than seven hundred arboreal species, making it a botanical garden of note.
Promotional material provided by Proloco di Monasterolo del Castello.