Fenis Castle (Italian: Castello
di Fenis) is an Italian medieval castle located in the town of Fénis, not far from Aosta
. It is one of the most famous castles in Aosta Valley
, and for its architecture and its many towers and battlemented walls has become one of the major tourist attractions of the region.
The castle first appears in a document in 1242 as a property of the Viscounts of Aosta, the Challant family. At that time it probably was a simple keep surrounded by walls. From 1320 to 1420, under the lordship of Aymon of Challant and of his son Boniface I of Challant, the castle was expanded to the actual appearance.
The castle is located in the town of Fénis in Aosta Valley region, at about 13 km from the city of Aosta. The keep has a pentagonal layout, with towers at the corners. It is surrounded by a double boundary wall with battlements and by a series of watchtowers linked by a walkway.
Despite his impressive defensive structure, the castle is situated at the top of a small knoll and not of a promontory or another inaccessible and easily defensible place. In fact it was not built for military purposes, but to serve as a prestigious residence for the Challant family.
The interior of the castle is divided into three floors: on the ground floor it is possible to visit the weaponry, the kitchen, the woodshed and the storage tank to collect rainwater. On the first floor there were the rooms of the lords of the castle, the chapel with frescoes by Giacomo Jaquerio and his school and the court. The second floor, in the attic, was dedicated to the servant's quarter and is not visitable.