All Castles in Lombardy

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    Castello Sforzesco

    Castello Sforzesco, one of the largest castles in Europe, was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza. Located outside the historical center of Milan, the castle was one of the main military citadels of Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries. Restored between 1890 and 1905, it is now home to cultural institutions and important museums.   SHORT HISTORY Between 1360 and 1370, a fortification was built on this site by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan. The fortification was called Castello di Porta Giovia and had a defensive function. Castello di Porta Giovia was a square-shaped castle with 200 meters long sides and four corner towers, two of which were particularly imposing. The structure became the permanent residence of the Visconti family, but was destroyed in 1447 by the newborn Repubblica Ambrosiana, founded by the Milanese nobility. After the fall of the Ambrosian Republic, the new Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, began in 1450 the reconstruction of the castle, to make it his residence. In 1452, the architect Filarete was hired by the Duke for the construction and decoration of the median tower, which was later known as Torre del Filarete. Filarete was succeeded by the Read more [...]

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    Castello di San Giorgio

    Castello di San Giorgio (Saint George’s Castle) is a moated rectangular castle in Mantua, located in the northeastern corner of the city. The castle is part of the Ducal Palace.   SHORT HISTORY Castello di San Giorgio was commissioned by Francesco I Gonzaga to the architect Bartolino da Novara, and built on the ruins of the Church of Santa Maria di Capo di Bove between 1395 and 1406. In 1458, the architect Luca Fancelli, at the behest of the Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga, renovated the castle, which definitively lost its military and defensive functions. The castle was for many years the residence of Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, one of the most famous noblewomen of the Renaissance. As the Lady of the manor, Isabella invited numerous artists and humanists of the time at the castle, such as the painters Andrea Mantegna and Pietro Perugino, the polymath Leonardo da Vinci, or the poets Ludovico Ariosto and Baldassarre Castiglione. The castle remained the Gonzaga residence for about a century, until Guglielmo Gonzaga moved his apartments to the renovated Palazzo Ducale. Starting with 1815, after the Austrian occupation of the city, the castle became a maximum security prison where opponents of Read more [...]

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    Castello di Brescia

    Castello di Brescia (Castle of Brescia), also known as Falcone d’Italia (Falcon of Italy), is a fortress built on the Cidneo Hill, in Brescia, close to the historical center of the city. The fortification complex occupies an area of about 75,000 square meters, being one of the largest in Italy.   SHORT HISTORY The first settlements on the Cidneo Hill date back to the Bronze Age, but the first real construction was a small temple dedicated to the Celtic god Bergimus, built in the 7th century BC. At the end of the 1st century BC, the Romans included the hill inside the city walls, and in the 1st century AD, they built a monumental temple here. With the passing of the centuries and the advent of Christianity, the hill was considered a sacred area. An early Christian martyrium was built here, then replaced by a large basilica, demolished in the 18th century. Today, only one of the two towers of the basilica still stands, the one known as the Mirabella Tower. In the first half of the 14th century, during the Visconti domination, the keep (mastio), a structure with a rectangular base and crenellated walls, was built. The keep was Read more [...]