About a month ago I wrote about the Norman Tower in Motta. Last week my husband and I got the chance to visit it! It is incredible how long this building has been standing. The Keep was build in 1070 by the Count Roger the Norman. The Tower is about 69 feet tall and was used as one of three defensive buildings on the eastern side of Sicily. These three towers would communicate with one another through smoke, mirrors, and fire when invaders were near.
I was sad to find out that what we can see today is only a small portion of the keep that once stood. The tower once had a large brick wall surrounding it littered with buildings that housed over 40 military families. The tower was separated into three layers. The first held the solders on watch. there were small windows that allowed solders to fight safely from within. The second floor gave the soldiers an advantage if the building was taken over. From the second floor they were able to drop boiling oil on their enemy. The third floor was only accessible by retractable stairs. If anyone entered the building the families and solders would climb the stairs and they were unreachable to intruders. The top floor held weapons and food that would sustain the people for a month.
If you have the chance to visit, I would highly recommend it! This small building is rich with history and the docents in the building are very familiar with its past. The part that I found most enjoyable about the tour was learning that bits and pieces of the tower and its wall still lay around the city. Before it was preserved for historical purposes, families used parts of the walls to build new homes, restaurants, archways, and churches around the city. As we shopped through Motta, we had a fun time looking for ruins that may have originally come from the tower.