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Castello di Celsa

Vista del Castello di Celsa da sotto arcata verso la Torre. Architetto Baldassarre Peruzzi

More About The Castle

The name Celsa probably derives from " excelsa sedes Virginis " , or from the Celsi family to whom the castle belonged for centuries.
The first building dates back to the thirteenth century; initially it was a stronghold overlooking the valley towards Siena.  In  the sixteenth century the Celsi family commissioned architect Baldassare Peruzzi to make changes such as to "free the imprisoned home and soak it in light and sun", as written by Shepherd and Jellicoe who visited in the 20s of the twentieth century.  They also wrote that " the delicate magic of Peruzzi’s hand touched the original walls , accentuating their strength through the delicacy of the additions he made, in a way that is a revelation in the art of transforming the formal to informal ". Peruzzi’s work is already evident in the circular chapel and in the niches and on the terraced wall which is parallel to the entrance path.

With a trapezoidal inner court, closed by a powerful wall with three big openings which face the Italian garden, the cleverness of the project comes from the way the medieval structures have been absorbed in a completely modern conception; the result is an original layout with the inner courtyard closed in by a mighty wall with three large arched openings that lead to another terrace that opens on the Italian Garden.
Mino Celsi (1514-1575), who was probably the developer of this ambitious project , called on the Archbishop of Siena Francesco, Bandini Piccolomini to find rest in the tranquil shade with the following words: "You, my rough and uneducated song return to Celsa and be sure that my peace not be taken away . "
In 1554 Celsa was devastated by the imperial troops. In early 1600 the Castle of Celsa , which had long been the property of the Celsi family, was passed on to the noble de Vecchi family of Siena whose property it remained until the mid-1800s.  After her marriage to Marquis Amerigo Antinori it was then inherited by Giulia de Vecchi.
At the end of the nineteenth century Maria Antinori, daughter of Giulia de Vecchi, married the Roman prince Giuseppe Aldobrandini and it was in those years that Mariani was commissioned  to reconvert Celsa : the east tower was elevated and the building was crowned with battlements; mullioned windows were opened , the plaster was scraped to reveal the stones. Upon the death of  Maria and Giuseppe, the Castle was handed down to their son Clemente Aldobrandini, whose wife , Louisa von Welczeck , restored the park and the Italian garden to their original state.  Their daughter Livia is the current owner.