The seven castles of Naples

 

Castel dell'Ovo

Address: Via Eldorado, 3

Summer season: Weekdays: 9.00am - 7.30pm / Holidays: 9.00am - 2.00pm

Winter season: Weekdays: 9.00am - 6.30pm / Holidays: 9.00 -14.00

Access is free.

 

From the Latin "Castrum Ovi", the Castel dell'Ovo rises on the islet of Megaride. From the Norman period, it is the oldest castle in the city: its construction was commissioned by William the Malo and was implemented in the second half of the 12th century on an existing fortification, created by some monks . According to legend, the poet Virgil placed an egg in a cage in the basement: as long as it remained intact, the castle and the city would remain intact and safe .

Castel dell'Ovo is the symbol of the various dominations that have taken place in Naples and that, over time, have governed it. Located on the suggestive Lungomare di Napoli, facing via Partenope, the castle is home to exhibitions, events, important congresses and its terr you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the Gulf.

 

Maschio Angioino

Address: Via Vittorio Emanuele III

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8.30 to 19.00

Tickets: € 6

Sundays: free entry to visit the courtyard, the Sala dei Baroni, the Sala dell'Armeria and the Sala della Loggia.

 

The Maschio Angioino (or Castel Nuovo) dominates Piazza Municipio. It has a trapezoidal plan and includes five large towers, one of which is in tuff and the other four in piperno. Its construction began in 1279 at the behest of Charles I of Anjou, when the capital of the kingdom was moved from Palermo to Naples and, later, with the reconstruction ordered by Alfonso of Aragon, from castle-palace became a modern fortress quite similar to the current one. If until now the name of the castle had been exclusively "Maschio Angioino", from here on it will be called "Castel Nuovo": that's why today both names are used.

The basement consists of two areas: the crocodile pit and the Baroni prison. The legend of the crocodile tells of numerous and inexplicable disappearances of prisoners: at some point, there he realized that these were due to a crocodile that bite the leg inmates, to drag them into the sea.

Of strong beauty and strong charm is the Hall of the Barons, probably called so because of the conspiracy of some barons against Ferrante I of Aragon in 1487, who, becoming aware of the fact that the nobles plotted against him, with an excuse, gathered them in this room and then arrested them and sentenced some of them to death. Currently the cast ello is intended for cultural use and, within it, the Civic Museum is also located.

 

Castel Sant'Elmo

Address: Via Tito Angelini, 22

Opening hours: Every day from 8.30 to 19.30

Museo Novecento: every day, except Tuesday, 9.30-17.00

Museo Novecento: Tuesday and every day: 17.00-18.30 to visit the parade ground, the stands and the pedestrian walkways.

Tickets: Standard: € 5.00; reduced: € 2.50; Tuesday: € 2.50

Tickets: Free: for EU citizens under 18 years and first Sunday of every month

 

Located in the highest part of the city, on the hill of Vomero, Castel Sant'Elmo is a fortress that dominates the city. Of medieval origin, it was built where once was the Church of Sant'Erasmo , from which "Eramo" and then "Ermo", up to "Elmo". In ancient times called "Paturcium", it was built by Robert D'Angiò from 1336 to 1343 and over the years has been the subject of many sieges. In 1857 a lightning struck the powder magazine , causing the collapse of much of the fortress and killing 150 people.

During the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799 it was conquered by the people and later by the Republicans but, with the fall of the Republic, it became the prison of important exponents of the revolution including: Eleonora Pimentel De Fonseca, Justin Fortunato, Francesco Pignatelli, Giovanni Bausan, Luisa Sanfelice and Domenico Cirillo.

Current configuration, with plant stellar six-pointed, was built between 1537 and 1547 on a project by Pedro Luis Escrivá di Valenza. Today the castle houses the Museo Novecento, full of works of art, and is home to exhibitions and cultural events.

 

Castel Capuano

Address: Piazza Enrico de Nicola

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 6.00pm

Tickets: Access is free.

 

Near Capuana, towards the end of the Decumano maggiore, Castel Capuano was built by the Norman king Guglielmo I called Il Malo on the remains of a ducal construction in an area where, in Roman times, the Baths or a Gymnasium probably stood. This castle was the royal residence before the Maschio Angioino was built, but then continued to host meetings of nobles, officials and illustrious personalities, including Francesco Petrarca in 1370. In the 16th century, at the behest of the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo, it became a palace of justice and a prison.

According to the legend, within the walls of the castle, the "ghost of the lawyers", belonging to Judith Guastamacchia, wanders. Today you can visit the frescoes of the Hall of the Court of Appeal, the Sala dei Busti, in honor of the great Neapolitan jurists, the Cappella della Sommaria and the Fontana del Formiello.

 

Castello del Carmine

Address: Via Marina

Opening hours : Always open

Tickets: Access is free.

 

The Castello del Carmine , called Sperone , was built in the Mercato district by Charles III of Durazzo in 1832. The castle had a purely military function, so there were no royal rooms. In 1906, due to road conditions, the fortress was partially destroyed by a pouring of concrete.

Today it is possible to admire the Torre Spinella (also called the Throne), the Torre Brava and a part of the Aragonese walls.

 

Castello di Nisida

Address: Via Nuova di Nisida

Opening hours: Not openable

 

On Nisida, the island-not island of Bagnoli , connected to the mainland by a bridge, stands the magnificent Castello di Nisida. It was built in the XIV century in the Angevin period and, later, Queen Giovanna built the Watchtower.

In the sixteenth century Don Pedro de Toledo made it part of that powerful defensive system that began in Baia and ended at the Sperone. With the plague epidemic of 1626, it became a leper hospital and today houses the Penal Institute for minors.

 

Forte di Vigliena

Address: via Marina dei Gigli

Opening Hours: Always open

Tickets: Access is free.

 

Located in the district of San Giovanni a Teduccio, in via Marina dei Gigli, the Fort of Vigliena was built by Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco y Zúñiga , marquis of Villena, probably in 1706.

Its particularity? It was only 6 meters high: this made it invisible from the sea. During the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it also became a training center for cadets. July 13, 1799 was the scene of clash between the forces of the Neapolitan and Sanfedist Republic: the Republican commander Antonio Toscano was forced to blow up the gunpowder, causing the death of both himself and the allies, both enemies.

In 1891 the fortress became National Heritage. Today there is very little of the castle, but many times it was decided to build an archaeological park in that area.