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The Catajo Castle

The Catajo Castle stands tall on the road leading from Padova to Battaglia Terme

This overshadowing structure, rich in history, charm and legends, was built to celebrate the Obizzi family and, at the time of its maximum splendour, hosted one of the largest collections of archaeological finds in the Veneto Region. There are many peculiar characteristics of this building, which is a combination of military lodgings, the lords’ accommodation and a feudal castle.


The name

Where does the name Catajo come from? "Was it a term created in hounour of the legendary and exotic Katai, referring to China as Marco Polo knew it?" For a long time this was thought to be the reason for such a peculiar name. The truth is, the Catajo Castle owes its name to the location where it stands: “Ca’ del Tajo”.


a Catty Cortisan

After the Castle’s entrance hall you’ll come upon a niche containing a female figure, the Gabrina, and a sign saying:

“Gabrina lies here, old and prurient / brought here on the back of the vague dandy / she, although deaf, crazy and disabled in the foot / flirted with love as long as long as she lived.”

She was malicious in life and even after, such that as you get close to the sign to read it, you’ll be hit by a spurt of water!


Legends and Ghosts

The Catajo Castle has always fascinated its visitors with its intriguing characteristics: the name, the greatness which makes it unique, the legends based on it.


The Ghost
Living in the Castle

In the castle there is a stone stained with the blood of Lucrezia degli Obizzi, savagely killed on the night of the 4th of November 1654 by a rejected lover. The spirit of the unfortunate Lucrezia wanders in the castle and many say they have seen a shadow dressed in light blue looking out of the highest windows of the castle…


Tommaso degli Obizzi

The last representative of the Obizzi family was Tommaso, a bizarre, violent type who loved women and mundane life, but who was also a great collector of art. His young wife, Barbara Quercini, died after only two years of marriage because, it has been said by many, of the worries and sorrows stirred by her husband. Tommaso, driven by his regret, built her a cenotaph inside the Catajo Park and coined a new coin in her honour. He didn’t get married again and had no children, with him the Obizzi dynasty was extinguished.


Visit the Castle

The Castle was built in only three years from 1570 to 1573 by Pio Enea degli Obizzi, inventor of the howitzer. It celebrated the glory of the Obizzi family, mercenary military captains originally from Burgandy who moved to Italy following the Emperor Arrigo II. The Castle, of overshadowing size, was dug in the rock of a hill, as you can see from the stairs which lead to the Piano Nobile. Inside it contains an important fresco cycle painted by G.B. Zelotti, a pupil of Veronese. The Castle is surrounded by a number of parks, notably the “Parco delle Delizie” (Park of Delicacies or main park) rich in botanical species, among which are the first specimens of magnolia and sequoia imported from America.


The Castle was enlarged by Pio Enea II during the XVIIth Century and enriched with numerous important collections, as the well supplied armory. The last representative of the Obizzi family, Tommaso, worked to enrich the collections in the Castle and organized them in a gallery created specifically for this purpose, where the archaeological finds were gathered. Tommaso died in 1805 leaving the Estensi family an inheritance of a dwelling containing a museum so rich it is considered one of the wonders of the Veneto State; it even held friezes from the Parthenon. The Castle later became a property of the Habsburg family which cleared it of almost everything, moving its collections to Vienna and to the castle of Konopischt in Prague. After WWI, the building was surrendered to the Italian Government which sold it in 1929 to the Dalla Francesca family, owners until end of 2015. The castle is still private property.



Via Catajo, 1 35041 Battaglia Terme
PADOVA - Tel: +39 049 9100411

Opening Hours

The Catajo Castle is open to visitors
with the following schedule:

March, September, October and November
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and public holidays from 14.30 to 18.30
April, May, June, July, August
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and public holidays from 15.00 to 19.00

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