The Castle of Charles V is a 16th century fortress in Monopoli, built during the Spanish domination of the city. The castle is located in the historical center of the city, on a promontory called Punta Pinna, near the Old Port of Monopoli.
The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century by the Emperor Charles V, as part of the coastal fortification system of the area. The works were carried out under the supervision of the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo or, according to other versions, under the Marquis Don Ferrante Loffredo, and were finished in 1552.
In 1600, the fortress was enlarged and restructured, both on the outside and inside, transforming the castle from a purely defensive structure to a residential one. In the first half of the 19th century, the castle became a prison, which was abolished only in 1969.
After it was abandoned for some time, the castle was consolidated in the 1990s and is now used as a venue for important cultural events, such as painting and photography exhibitions.
The plan of the castle is enriched by pentagonal bastions. The main entrance is found to the south, where a cylindrical tower is built.
To the left of the tower, is still visible a well-preserved part of the ancient walls. Under the loggia, there is the stone coat of arms dated 1552, and the name of the Viceroy Don Pedro of Toledo.
In the basement of the castle, we can find the rock Church of San Nicola de Pinna, founded at the end of the 10th century.
In the great hall of arms, we can find four Neapolitan howitzers from the first half of the 19th century.
HOW TO GET THERE
The castle is located about 1.4 kilometers away from the Monopoli railway station, at the northern limit of the old town center. To find it on foot, use the map below.