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Motta Sant’Anastasia Castle, locally known as Castello di Motta Sant’Anastasia, lies in the town of the same name, in the Catania province on the island of Sicily in Italy. The site of Motta Sant’Anastasia, a lava rock overlooking the plain of Catania, was probably already inhabited by the Siceliots (Greeks of Sicily).

The first fortification built here was probably a tower built by the Muslims during the 9th century. The present castle was built around 1080 by the Normans on behalf of Roger I, King of Sicily. In 1091 it was granted to the Bishop of Catania. In 1250 it was taken from the Bishop by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. And in 1267 it went to the Capetian House of Anjou.

In 1408, the Baron of Motta; Sancho Ruiz de Lihori, imprisoned the Count of Modica; Bernardo Cabrera, in Motta Sant’Anastasia Castle. In 1455 the castle returned to the State and was granted to Ludovico de Perellos by Alfonso V of Aragon.

In 1526 the castle was bought by Antonio Moncada, Count of Adrano, after which it remained a fief of the Moncada family until the abolition of feudalism in the 19th century. Motta Sant’Anastasia Castle is quite similar to nearby Adrano and Paternò Castle; both also rectangular Norman keeps dating back to the same period. At present the surviving, 21 meters high, keep of Motta Sant’Anastasia Castle can be visited for free with a guide. Alas it was closed when I came by. Too bad because I would have loved to take a look inside.