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the punta troia castle

The Punta Troia Castle and Prison Museum on Marettimo was built by the Spanish in 1600 around a ninth century Saracen tower overlooking the sea from the top of a picturesque promontory. The Spaniards also added a large cistern for collecting water and a church that was called Real Chiesa Parrocchiale di Marettimo to the original structure that had been fortified in the 12th century by the then Norman king of Sicily, Roger II. The cistern, called “La Fossa”, was later used by the Spanish themselves as a prison for those convicted of the most serious crimes. From the end of the 18th century the castle, called the Real Castello del Marettimo, became a prison for political prisoners until 1844, when Ferdinand II of Bourbon decided to close it after an inspection. It was later used, during the world wars, as a military sighting point and telegraph station. Restored, for some years now it has housed the Prison Museum and the Monk Seal Observatory for the Aegadian Islands’ Marine Protected Area.

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