The imposing ruins of the Rocca Silvana rise around a kilometer out of the inhabited center of the Selvena country along the road that leads to Sovana. It can be reached following the SS2 Cassia through the Val d'Orcia, the follow up the indications for Abbadia S.Salvatore/Piancastagnaio.
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The castle was named for the first time in 833 A.D. on a document of the S.Salvatore Abbey but the reports brought to light during the recent excavations, started in 1997, revealed no traces antecedent to the 11th century. At that time the monks of S.Salvatore Abbey began to vindicate the possession of Selvena accusing the Aldobrandeschi to have taken it illegally. The feudal family won the quarrel, but in the following centuries the fortress continued to be object of desire, suffered seriuosly damage under the siege of Fredrick Barbarossa at the mid-13th century and subsequently was again disputed between the powerful towns of Siena and Grosseto. Only at the mid-14th century Siena took control on this territory, but only for few years. Selvena became first part of the fief of Pitigliano, controlled by the Orsini family, and then of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
ruins of the fortress dominate the landscape and today is still easy to
recognize the traces of its trapezoidal shaped double walled enclosure:
the external walls encircled the inhabited area, the inner walls the feudal
palace. To the eastern extremity of the inner walls, just over the main
gate, rises a splendid tower with a pentagonal form that played the function
of keep (with the look of a ship-prow...). This tower was added to the
fortress to increase the defenses immediately after the Barbarossa's siege.
The quality of the construction is still today clear, it was built with
fine worked stones of the highest quality and testifies the wealth of
the castle's owners. This side of the fortification is also the only one
not defended by the natural precipices of the rocks and the walls have
here their vertex creating a barbican at defense of the entrance.