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Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte Web Site

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Introduction

Castel del Monte stands out among medieval castles for its exquisite geometric forms and a missing finality for the construction. The fractal recursion of the octagon in the plant design has intrigued scholars that have endeavored to decipher the geometric design.

A new study unravels this design, proving that it is the realization of a unique solution to cross vault lateral thrusts, utilizing the features of the octagon.

A review of the evolution of stone vault construction technology leading up to gothic architecture provides the backdrop to understand and retrace the work of the medieval architect at Castel del Monte.

The amazing plant design coupled with an accurate execution in construction leave us a blue print cast in stone. The design is a geometric construction process that translates into a mathematical model where, amazingly, all plant dimensions spring from a single measure, which is the dimension of the plant octagon. This leads us to discover the true unit of measurement used at Castel del Monte.

Most significant is the window this opens in the medieval intellectual ways, as we follow the architect in solving technical and geometric problems within the mathematical capabilities in the 13th century; it is a lesson in medieval architectural design.

Visit the guide page for an orientation on the site content.

Enjoy the visit.

Domenico Lanera

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