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  • - [Narrator] This surreal fortress

  • was built on the remains of a medieval castle

  • by one very curious man.

  • (inquisitive music)

  • Rocchetta Mattei is located

  • in the Northern Alpines of Italy.

  • Construction began in 1850

  • and was commissioned by Count Cesare Mattei,

  • who was a self-taught inventor and quite the eccentric.

  • His intention was for this castle

  • to be the home of his medical revolution,

  • a concept based on using the energy of plants

  • to heal physical ailments.

  • His eclectic sensibilities

  • are reflected in the labyrinth design

  • of randomly connected rooms.

  • Mattei passed away at 87 years old, but he didn't go far.

  • He's buried in the chapel, which is decorated elaborately

  • as a replication of Cordoba's Mezquita in Spain.

  • For the last 20 years of his life, he never left the castle;

  • and after his death, it was all but abandoned until 2005,

  • when an independent group took over and restored the site,

  • opening it back up for the public to explore

  • this very unusual residence.

  • (chiming)

- [Narrator] This surreal fortress

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