Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, is built on a rocky hill, which is surrounded by fields of Apulian vineyards. This also makes it an important touristic enogastronomic destination. The castle is the symbol of the harmonious blending between western and Arabic architecture, which represent the cosmopolitan and pacifistic ideas of its creator.
Castel del Monte endured the elements for eight long centuries, preserving all its mosaics, sculptures and its octagonal shape, which dominates the surroundings.
Its completion dates back to the 29th of January 1240, when Friederich von Hohestaufen commissioned the materials for the construction of the castle nearby the now-lost church of Santa Maria del Monte.
The octagonal shape on which it is based, is a highly symbolic geometrical shape: it is the intermediate shape in between a square, which represents the earth, and a circle, which represents the infinity of the sky. This symbolizes the crossing from one into the other.
The entirety of its structure is imbued with astronomical symbolism. Its positioning was designed so that, during the solstice and the equinox, its shadows, cast by the walls, would have a specific direction.