SeaCastle Magazine SeacastleMagazine n.3 sett-ott.2017 - Page 21

LE DONNE DELLA NOSTRA STORIA / WOMEN OF OUR PAST La regina Maria con Martino d’Aragona Il Castello di Baida Lo stemma della regina Maria T he castle of Baida, built at the end of 1200 as a fortified position in defense of the barony, at the end of 1300 bound its name to the character of Baroness Allegranza Abbate, descendant from Palmerino Abbate from Trapani, one of the protagonist of the Sicilian Vespers. When she was only 15 was forced to marry the fifty years old Raimondo Peralta, Count of Caltabellotta and Baron of Castellammare, left widower of Isabel, the daughter of the King Frederic III. To overcome the opposition of his family the Count didn’t hesitate to kidnap her. Some years later the Count died and Allegranza got married again to Matteo Moncada, Count of Agosta (Augusta). She became a fist rank character in the Sicilian History when in 1379 her stepson Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada kidnapped the 16 years old Queen Maria from the Ursino castle in Catania, where she had been left from her dying father Frederic IV under the custody of Artale of Aragon. The Countess who had personally lived the experience of the kidnapping, put up lovely the Queen in the Castle of Augusta and was close to her in the different stops of the journey to Aragon preparing her to the marriage to Martino of Aragon. For the loving presence side by side to the Queen for so many years, she enjoyed her confidence and it’s for this reason that the four deputies and the other Sicilian Barons addressed to her with secret letters to get favors and graces from the Sovereign. It was said the Queen willingly listened her advices and never said no to her requests. But there are some curious letters from other Barons addressed to Martin of Montblanc, the Queen’s father in law, who recommended him to be careful on the plots hatched secretly by Madonna Allegranza, by them defined as a treacherous and intriguing woman. When the Queen Maria and Her husband Martino of Aragon, together with Allegranza Abbate, succeeded in coming to Sicily in 1392, she wanted to reward the noblewoman who had been next to her for 15 years and granted her the barony of Baida. The Queen put ashore in Trapani and on the way, full of risks and contrasts, to the capital of the Island stopped in Castellammare, welcomed by the Baron Guglielmone Peralta. S ea C astle M agazine 21