Built in 1501 by Giovanni Carlo Tramontano, Count of Matera, but never finished, the castle is above the historical centre of Matera, on Lapel Hill.
In Aragonese style, it has a large central courtyard surrounded by walls and massive round towers. The construction came to an end with the death of the extremely unpopular Count who was murdered by locals. After paying various ransoms to the Crown in order to remain directly accountable to it, instead of being ruled by a local feudal landlord, the locals were furious when Ferdinand II, King of Naples awarded the feudal rights of the city to Giovanni Carlo Tramontano.
The Count had already made himself unpopular with the locals by granting himself the right to bed every bride before her wedding, but when he started taxing them heavily to build the castle, a group of them hid behind a rock, "u pizzon' du mal consiggh", (the stone of bad council), and organised his assassination. On December 29, 1514, the Count, who had just left the Cathedral, was assassinated in a side street which was later known as "The Way of Ransom".
However, the castle is not open to the public