Castello Visconteo, Pandino
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West wing with principal entrance Barbican on right, in front of East tower
|Built by||Bernabò Visconti|
In 1355, Bernabò Visconti, Lord of Milan commissioned a castle at the site in part to have access to the then wooded surrounding hunting preserves. The castle is a quadrangle with corner towers and an internal courtyard with a hemming ground-floor portico with stout brick columns with peaked arches, and a second floor with denser simple columns. The exterior have single windows on the ground floor and mullioned peaked windows on the piano nobile. On the east wing, the ground floor had a second set of internal arches leading to a former banquet hall.
Overall, the castle has a rustic appearance. The interior retains some of the frescoed decoration, including painted architecture, and friezes that often included the symbols of the Visconti and of the family of Bernabò's wife, Regina Della Scala. Across from the entrance is the frescoed 16th-century Oratorio di Santa Marta.
The castle passed on to be property of the Sforza when Gian Galeazzo overthrew Bernabò Visconti. In the 15th century further defensive structures, including a barbican or gatehouse, and the taller east tower, were added to the castle. The castle was once surrounded by a moat. None of these measures was to prevent the castle from falling into the hands of the Venetians a number of times.
After the Sforza, the castle change hands a few times until in 1552, it became property of the Marchese D’Adda, and remained in this family's hands till the 19th century, the last private owners were the family of the Marchese D’Adda. The castle became largely dilapidated and was occupied for agricultural storage and workers. In 1947, it was purchased and restored by the commune which utilizes part for school functions.