The Gronumbergo's Castle

The Gronumbergo's Castle

The area in which you currently are the ruins of the castle Gronumbergo has always been, over the centuries, of great strategic importance for the control of territory. In fact, since prehistoric times, the confluence between the Natisone river and its tributary Alberone, was occupied by the populations in the valley since the characteristics of the area ensured considerable advantages:

• Availability of unlimited water.

• Exploitation of the two rivers as a means of transportation and a source of food.

• Visual inspection of both the valley towards the border of the plain.

• Ability to request payment of duties when crossing the ford.

The first traces of human presence in the area date from 8000-10000 years ago.

 Excavations carried out at the beginning of the century at the current purifier placed in front of the ruins of the castle, they have unearthed the remains of an ancient fortified village used both during the Stone Age and then during the Bronze Age. This type of construction was a kind of fortress having defensive function, consisting of a rectangular plateau, bordered by dry rudimentary walls made with unbleached large rocks. Excavations inside the castle have emerged numerous finds from the Roman period; from all this it follows that where now lie the ruins of the fortress there were other much older buildings.

In Roman times it was one of those strong (interagres) to defend the Empire's border.

It was part of a complex defense system consisting of a defensive Vallo, composed in turn by three lines of the valley walls pacing at San Pietro al Natisone. The defensive walls presented themselves in military buildings placed on the highest points of the same. The castle then stood behind everything but proved important because it facilitated the control of the Alberone river ford. During an excavation, on the bank of that river, they were brought to light two deep furrows into the sandstone, definitely caused by the passage of railways wheels of Roman chariots along the road leading to the border.


1160 The castle appears in a document as Grunenberg.

1267 Jacopo Grounumberg inhabits the castle built by his family in an unknown era.

1276 The property passed to Giovanni De Portis.

1304 Works of the fortress restructuring by John of Beraldino and Varmo and Utussio De Portis.

1308 Single owner of the castle becomes Odorico de Portis; Henry of Prampero manages to enter the fortress by deception, setting it on fire. The noble manage to escape descending with ropes from the windows.

1314 Reconstruction works by Frederick de Portis.

1317 The Count of Gorizia tries to take possession of the castle with the help of the caretaker Weriand; this is discovered and, together with his accomplices, first imprisoned and then hanged April 7, 1317 outside the walls of Brossana door.

1380-1386 nth work of strengthening the structure by Cividale noble.

He died in 1401 Nicholas de Portis, the Pietrapelosa Marquis and Lord of Gronumbergo; Adalmotta his daughter, wife of Acelino Formentini (of Hungarian origin), Cusano sir, inherits the castle.

1441 Construction of the fortress and the Natisone of "unum rastrum", about 100 meters long, in order to prevent the transit of merchants who were subjected to the Gavo payment.

1600 For a short time the fortress, in an advanced state of decay, it becomes the property of Canussio Lords.

He died in 1772 Orazio Formentini and extinguished the dynasty.

1776 The castle come as a fief given to Joseph and Antonio Remondini, Bassano printers who also aquistano the title of Counts, also validated by the Serenissima. Once they lived there intermittently until about 1800, then maintaining possession of the ruins and the land adjacent to the January 18, 1854.

In modern times the area where there are ruins continued to be of considerable strategic and military importance. In the '50s, because of the fear of a possible invasion of Yugoslavia, the Italian Army has implemented a system of tunnels inside the mountain and many bunkers around the area. On the north wall, below the castle, was converted into a huge room where they were housed, until a few years ago, large-caliber cannons pointing towards the border.


It is said that during the work on the north face of the mountain, a worker has discovered a walled vessel inside the wall itself. This vessel appears to have been full of gold coins, all fall into the river below. (What bad luck).

It is said that the castle had underground, undiscovered given the enormous amount of material accumulated inside the walls.

It is said that there is a dense network of tunnels that connected the interior of the castle with the city of Cividale and the castle of Guspergo, in locations Sanguarzo.

Of course, and could not miss, he tells of the existence of a great treasure which is buried inside the fortress or probably walled inside the walls.