Rocca Maggiore

Castle in Assisi

Rocca Maggiore Assissi
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Hagai Agmon-Snir

The origins of Rocca Maggiore trace back to 1174, when it was reconstructed after the conquest of Assisi by the imperial troops under Christian of Mainz. Some believe it may have existed even during the Lombard era. It’s rumored that Frederick of Swabia, later Emperor Frederick II, once stayed there as a guest of Conrad Lutzen.

Perched atop a hill overlooking Assisi, the fortress boasts the imposing Maschio, offering breathtaking views of the city and the Umbrian Valley, stretching from Perugia to Spoleto. Historically, the site was deemed sacred and vital for Assisi’s defense.

In 1198, the castle faced destruction during a popular revolt to prevent it from falling under papal control, seen by the people of Assisi as a symbol of imperial oppression.

Rebuilt in 1365 by Cardinal Egidio Albornoz as a lookout, the fortress exemplifies medieval military architecture. Over time, various lords enhanced its defenses, adding towers and bastions.

Throughout history, it underwent expansions and modifications by figures like Biordo Michelotti, Piccinino, Pius II, Sixtus IV, and Paul III, becoming truly formidable. Tradition suggests an acropolis once occupied the hilltop but was razed by Gothic king Totila in 545.

Abandoned in the 17th century, the fortress remained nearly intact until recent times. After Italy’s unification in 1859, it was ravaged by the locals.

Today, Rocca Maggiore welcomes numerous visitors, offering panoramic views of Assisi and the stunning Umbrian Valley. Its halls host thematic reconstructions reflecting medieval life.

The Rocca Maggiore appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Assisi!

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Visiting Rocca Maggiore


From November to February: 10.00am – 5.00pm (last entry 4.15pm)

March: 10.00 – 18.00 (last entry 17.15)

April and May: 10.00am – 7.00pm (last entry 6.15pm)

June and August: 10.00am – 8.00pm (last entry 7.15pm)

September and October: 10.00am – 7.00pm (last entry 6.15pm)

December 25: closed



Address: Rocca Maggiore, Via della Rocca, Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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