Massa Castle



Given to Obizzo Malaspina by Federico Barbarossa in 1164, the castle was occupied by Conradin, king of the Romans, duke of Swabia and king of Sicily and Jerusalem, opposed to the alliance between the Empire and the Malaspinas, before being devastated by the inhabitants of Lucca. Interested in the tactic location of the building, which allowed simultaneous control of both the coast and the mainland, several owners followed one another, and eventually the Malaspina de Fosdinovo marquesses bought it in the XVth century. The first owners, the marquesses of Massa lived there in the Xth century, in order to ensure the security on the sea and to fight against the pirates and the Saracens, who they chased as far as Corsica or Sardinia. Later on, Jacopo I, marquess of Fosdinovo, had the fortress refurbished and transformed. A few generations later, Ricciarda Malaspina and her son Alberico completed the improvement of the seigneurial residence. In 1557, Alberico I Cybo Malaspina  ordered the erection of the battlements surrounding the town, as well as the Salvatore, San Martini, Pasquino and Mantane gates.