Montichiari – Bonoris Castle

An eclectic reconstruction of a medieval fortress

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Around the year 1000, a castle was built on the San Pancrazio hill in Montichiari, which served as a crucial defense for the territory and its inhabitants. In 1167, the Longhi counts granted feudal rights to the residents, which led to the formation of the municipality. However, the fortification was destroyed in 1168 and underwent several damages and lootings over the centuries. The municipality sold the land where the fortification’s ruins were located at the end of the 19th century, and the wealthy Bonoris family became the new owner.

Gaetano Bonoris, a nobleman, purchased the area in 1890 and decided to rebuild the manor in Neo-Gothic style with a large park, inspired by the castles in Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont. The initial project was developed by architect Antonio Tagliaferri, but due to changes and requests from Bonoris, he abandoned the project, and his nephew Giovanni Tagliaferri also failed to complete it. Eventually, Carlo Melchiotti and Giuseppe Rollini were hired to finish the work in 1900, based on Tagliaferri’s design and Bonoris’s modifications.

After Count Bonoris passed away in 1923, his cousin Ercole Soncini inherited the castle and then sold it to the Silent Workers of the Cross in 1965. They used the castle for religious and welfare purposes until 1996 when it was acquired by the Municipality of Montichiari. During some construction work on April 25th street in 1975, some passages connecting the fortress to the walls were found, and in 1977, the highest tower of the complex was severely damaged by a fire.