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The Maniace Castle in Syracuse, Italy, built under Emperor Frederick II in the first half of the 13th century, is analyzed from a structural point of view by means of a detailed 3D Finite Element model. The castle was struck by many catastrophic events during the centuries, which heavily damaged the structure and caused subsequent changes in the origi-nal implant.
After a concise description of the main architectural characteristics of the building and its actual state of degradation, two full 3D FE numerical analyses are discussed, representing respectively the present geometric configuration and that ob-tained after a hypothetical intervention aimed at reporting the structure into its original conceived shape. Conventional static analyses in the linear range are performed on such large scale meshes, under gravity loads and horizontal loads con-ventionally representing seismic excitation, respectively investigating the role played by self-weight into the degradation of some structural elements (particularly central columns of the hypostyle hall) and the effect induced by horizontal forces on both the global behavior and the local widespread local regions with positive stresses. On the basis of such numerical results, some useful observations to be considered in a future plan of restoration aimed at reporting the castle in its origi-nal configuration are finally provided.