06 February 2022

Fenis Castle I Aosta Valley I Guided Tour

The castle of Fénis is the best known castle in Valle d'Aosta. Situated in a non-strategic location, already in the 13th century under the jurisdiction of the Viscounts of Aosta, it had above all a symbolic function: it represented the local power over the surrounding lands.

The castle of Fénis was owned by the Challant family from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 18th century. The Challant family owned several castles in Valle d'Aosta, of which the following are now open to the public: Issogne, Fénis, Verrès and Aymavilles (scheduled to open in spring 2022). In 1716, the castle was sold and after a period of neglect, it was bought for the state by Alfredo d'Andrade in 1895 who began extensive restoration work. In 1936, the museum of Aosta Valley furniture was set up.

A visit to the castle gives a better understanding of its link with the surrounding area. The pictorial decoration from the beginning of the 15th century (the fresco of Saint George and the essays on the gallery, as well as the decoration of the chapel on the first floor), was commissioned from the representative of international Gothic Giacomo Jacquerio and later completed by Giacomino d'Ivrea from Canavese.

The tour includes a visit to the armory, the dining room and the kitchen on the first floor; through the donjon, it continues to the first floor where there is the courtroom and the chapel with the medieval crucifix and a cycle of frescoes on the side walls, including the Madonna of Mercy; finally, it descends again into the courtyard where it is possible to admire the pictorial decoration.

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