The Belenda tower in San Bernardino
A medieval Finale stone tower-house
The medieval tower-house, called “of Belenda”, rises on the eastern slope of the San Bernardino hill, facing the Val Sciusa valley. This building, with walls made with squared Finale stone blocks, is a wonderful example of a 14th fortified house and still stands in its original shape. Unfortunately, it is currently in a worrying state of disrepair due to lack of restoration.
The tower-house, with various floors and external wooden balconies, was set against and incorporated in the base of the north-western façade of a pre-existing residential building with a rectangular plan, dated on the basis of a few architectonic elements and the building technique to the end of the late 12th -early 13th century.
MORE INFORMATION – The Belenda tower
Its entrance was composed of a portal, that had been closed in the past, featuring a round arch monolithic architrave set on large square block jambs, placed at the centre of the north-western side of the room at the first floor of the tower. Close to it there is a small mullioned window with a small monolithic pillar and a cubic capital.
The 14th century tower-house was a residential building with a rectangular plan; it had three floors and was originally covered with a single sloping roof.
The ground floor, covered by a barrel-vaulted ceiling, had a separate entrance and was probably used as a storage room or as a stable.
The rooms on the upper floors were divided by wooden slabs. On the northern wall, on the third floor, there is an overhanging element held by shelves and was probably used as a toilet.
On the last floor, on the side facing the valley, the room was illuminated by two mullioned windows with cubic capitals.
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