Orco castle

A castrum of the Early Middle Ages in the inland of Finale

The castle of Orco is set on a small Finale stone hill that is defended naturally by vertical rock cliffs on the north, east and west sides, that had originated from the erosion of the original surfacing of Finale stone.

The fortification is mentioned for the first time as castrum Orche in 1162 in a diploma of emperor Frederick the 1st of Swabia. It controlled the passage between the wide Feglino valley, to the west, and the rio Cornei valley, that flows in the basin of the Sciusa torrent, to the east. It was a central point of the communication routes that from the coastal zone of Noli and Finale were direct towards the pass of San Giacomo and the Bormida Valleys.


The castles defences were centred on a strong square tower, directly set onto the rock and placed on a rampart that delimited the top of the hill. What remains of this tower with an elevated entrance, dated between the 13th and 14th century, is only the base with thick walls and cantonal in squared Finale stone blocks. Close to the tower there was a small cistern for gathering water.

The church of San Lorenzo also belonged to the castle, documented at the end of the 12th century and rebuilt in the 15th century.

Belonging to a more recent phase is the small oratory, now in ruin, with a cross vaulted apse that was built in the 16th century at the beginning of the path that leads to the castle, while the ruins of a house positioned further ahead are dated between the 15th and 19th century.



How to reach the site

The castle can be reached on foot by following a short and easy path that starts from the area contiguous to the tourist accommodation point along the road for Orco, where one can leave their car.


The area of the castle of Orco is part of a project for the creation of a naturalistic and archaeological park promoted by the town of Orco Feglino.


Museo Archeologico del Finale


e-mail: info@museoarcheofinale.it

phone: +39.019.690020

Calendar of visits

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