The Castle in Soncino: “Si vis pacem, para bellum”
Although the origin of the Castle in Soncino, Lombardy, dates back to the 10th century, the structure was renovated after an important peace treaty was signed in 1454.
“Si vis pacem, para bellum”, the Latins said (“If you want peace, prepare for war”): perhaps inspired by this pragmatic adage, the Duke of Milan Francesco Sforza had a new fortress built and the city walls completely rebuilt after the famous Peace of Lodi, which established the boundaries between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan (to which Soncino belonged) after decades of war.
The wonderful castle was home to various frescoes, including an ancient Madonna with Child, a fragment of a Lion of Saint Mark, and the coat of arms of the Duchy of Milan, surrounded by symbols of water and fire representing the House of Sforza’s motto, “Accendo e spengo” (“I light up and I turn off”).
The war sparked violence, and peace placated it. But the castle is ready for anything.