Detailed sheets

The Legend of Baldu

The history of the Palace of Baldu (fig. 1) is difficult to reconstruct and this has led to the birth of many legends which have survived to this day. Popular tradition has it built during the first quarter of the thirteenth century by Lamberto Visconti, to celebrate the birth of his first son Ubaldo or by Giudice Giovanni in honour of his father Ubaldo. Nevertheless, the character usually linked to the castle is that of Ubaldo II Visconti (1207-1238).

Fig. 1 - The Palace of Baldu, seen from the South (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

Next to the palace that bears his name "Baldu", there is the church of Santo Stefano (fig. 2), where it is said that the "Ghost of sor Ubaldo," lord of the village of Sent Steva, which must have been in the immediate vicinity, sometimes appears.

Fig. 2 - Luogosanto, area of Santo Stefano: the church of Santo Stefano (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

The ghost, dressed in noble Pisan fourteenth century clothes (see fig. 3), appears to the most deserving and faithful people: he complains about his state of homeless pauper, a wandering spirit, since Alfonso of Aragon killed him, destroying his castle together with that of Balaiana (fig. 4).

Fig. 3 - Siena, Palazzo Pubblico, Sala della Pace: Allegoria del Buon Governo - Allegory of Good Government (1338-1339), at the bottom a procession of people dressed in typical period clothes (from
Fig. 4 - Luogosanto, Castle Balaiana: view from the north (from



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