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    Castel Sismondo, also known as Rocca Malatestiana, is a castle in Rimini, located in Piazza Malatesta, in the historical center of the city.



    Castel Sismondo was built at the behest of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, starting with 1437, in a period of great prosperity for the House of Malatesta.

    The castle was conceived both as a fortress and a palace of grandiose proportions, to represent the power of the lord over the city.

    Sigismondo was, in fact, the one who designed the castle, but was supported by various architects, such as Cristoforo Foschi, Matteo Nuti and Filippo Brunelleschi.

    The fortress was built on a pre-existing structure, a large fortified complex built by Sigismondo’s brother and predecessor, Galeotto Roberto.

    The construction began on May 20, 1437, and was completed about 15 years later, with some of the decorative works lasting until 1454.

    During the works, in order to create a large buffer zone around the moat, an entire complex of buildings was demolished, including the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Convent of Santa Caterina.

    The decline of the House of Malatesta at the end of the 15th century determined the beginning of a long period of neglect for the castle.

    During this period, the castle was used solely for military purposes, definitively losing its residential character, and was subjected to radical works to strengthen its defense.

    At the beginning of the 16th century, during the brief period of Venetian domination, the polygonal bastions replaced the quadrangular ones of the 15th century.

    Between 1624 and 1626, Castel Sismondo underwent new restorations and transformations, with the addition of gunports and the raising of the external walls, and was named Castel Urbano, in honor of Pope Urban VIII.

    In 1821, the castle was used as a police station.

    The structure of the fortress underwent further renovations in 1826, with the destruction of the walls, the filling of the moat, the demolition of the third tower and the construction of a salt warehouse.

    The fortress was used as a barracks, a warehouse, and finally, in 1857, as a prison, a function maintained until 1967.

    In recent years, Castel Sismondo became the subject of a general restoration, directed by Carla Tomasini Pietramellara. Lifts, walkways and new staircases of contemporary design were built inside the keep.

    Castel Sismondo - Rimini

    Castel Sismondo



    Castel Sismondo was a complex of grandiose dimensions, similar to a fortified citadel, entirely surrounded by a huge dry moat. The current structure represents nothing more than the central core of the castle.

    The castle was entirely enclosed by a high external wall with an irregular pattern, with two courtyards.

    In the center, there is a structure composed of two main buildings – the keep and the Isotta wing, connected at an intermediate level between the first and second floor through a covered walkway.

    The structure has an irregular plan and is enclosed by a series of bastions reinforced at the corners by four quadrangular towers, decorated in the upper part with the coats of arms of the House of Malatesta.

    The entrance oriented to the city has a Gothic portal with a pointed arch. Above the portal, there is a dedication epigraph with a text in Latin, which states that Sigismondo erected the building.

    Over the entrance, there is a large coat of arms consisting of a shield with checkered bands, symbol of the Malatesta family, surmounted by an elephant’s head crest and a four-petalled rose.

    On the sides of the coat of arms, the name of the lord of Rimini is celebrated in Gothic characters.

    The Isotta wing has a rectangular plan and is spread over three floors, organized according to a very common plan in European castles.

    Originally, the ground floor housed the representative rooms – the reception room and the chapel, from which a staircase led to the first floor, where the private rooms were located.

    TIP: Inside the castle, you can find the Fellini Museum, a museum dedicated to the genius of the filmmaker Federico Fellini.



    Castel Sismondo is located about 1 kilometer away from the Rimini railway station. The closest bus stop is Campana-Valturio, located about 90 meters away, on the bus Lines 1, 14 and 29.

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