Architecture and Restoration
An architectural complex constantly evolving, renovated to serve the territory
The building structure of the Castle was modified more than once, based on the different function it played over the centuries.
The Castle appears as a building complex with a square map (outlined in the current logo), in which the continuity of shapes is interrupted by a tower standing high above the roof level.
The building complex includes the actual Castleand the Ricetto(shelter) to the South of the Castle, while on the East side stands the Cascina Cortegrande, dating back to the 15th-16th century and comprising a series of buildings overlooking a quadrangular court, following the traditional structure of Lombard homesteads.
San Gervasio’s Chapel
San Gervasio’s Romanesque Chapel, dating back to the 11th century, is the ancient heart of the castle. Between the 1300s and 1400s it underwent two major restorations that radically changed its appearance: during the first one, the roof of the chapel was removed and the building itself was heightened on its own perimeter to build the rectangular tower, still visible today; during the second, new perimeter walls and new vaults were erected inside the tower.
This last intervention, during the second half of the 14th century, entailed the addition of the current terracotta portal, characterised by elaborated ornamental frames that include the rose window in the middle of the portal. The peculiar position of the rose window represents a rare artistic solution, of which only one other example exists in the whole of Lombardy, in the Church of San Cristoforo sul Naviglio, in Milan.
Inside the chapel, through small openings, it is still possible to observe the original Romanesque structure and retrace all the subsequent interventions.
Restoration of the castle to a fully functioning state has been made possible by a radical renovationstarted by the Fondazione Ghislieri during the 90s.
Firstly, the Fondazione decided to undertake an artistic and historic study of the architectural complex, in order to fully preserve its cultural heritage. At a later stage, works were carried out to ensure structural stabilisation and full compliance, including the refurbishment of the East wing of the Keep, now available as a convention centre.
Nel lungo termine è intenzione della Fondazione Ghislieri In the long term the Fondazione Ghislieri intends to redevelop the whole complex, dedicating the central body of the Castle to cultural activities and conventions, while the Ricetto and Cascina Cortegrande will act as lodgings.
Thanks to the contribution of Fondazione Cariplo, Lardirago Castle is at the core of a multi-year project (2019-2021) which, besides continuing the restoration works, introduces a series of activities aimed at promoting the monument and its territory.
To this avail, the Centre for Studies on the Lardirago Territory, a libraryopen to the public, a permanent exhibition and a system of guided tours are being launched, within a calendar of events organised by the Fondazione Ghislieri.
Moreover, the Castle is noticeably increasing the spaces dedicated to organising private events, ceremonies and business meetings.