Castello Maniace

Syracuse, Italy

The Castello Maniace is a citadel and castle situated at the far point of the Ortygia island promontory, It bears the name of George Maniakes, the Byzantine general who besieged and took the city in 1038. Originally, one could only enter the castle over a bridge spanning a moat (now filled). A feature of the castle is the decorated portal. Today the castle is open to public and is a local tourist attraction in Syracuse.

The first fort was built here in 1038 by George Maniakes, a Greek general and later the Catepan of Italy, after he captured Syracuse from the Arabs on behalf of the Emperor Michael IV. Frederick II, as King of Sicily, had his architect Riccardo da Lentini rebuild it in 1232–1240. King Peter III of Aragon resided here with his family in 1288. From 1305 to 1536 the castle was used as residence by numerous queens of Sicily.

In the 15th century it was used as a prison. In the following century it was included in the fortification defending the harbour and the city. A huge explosion damaged it in 1704, after which it was renovated and adapted to the use of guns.



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Founded: 1232-1240
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Anso Coupe (9 months ago)
Great Castle with a lighthouse. At the very south of the island. Entree Fee is 8€. Outside the castle there is a large garden with benches, a great area to take pictures and cafè-bar-restaurant with terrace. Easy Access to all. WC from the bar-restaurant.
Eduard Moraru (10 months ago)
Very well preserved castle. If you are a gamer, it's quite likely that you will get some Elden Ring vibes out of it. I sure did :) I also enjoyed the outside canon windows overlooking the sea and the great sea breeze that rushed through them.
Ash (11 months ago)
It was a bit hot as we went closer to midday but would be great if visiting later in the afternoon. Suggest downloading the English guide from the QR Codes at the ticketing counter and also one in the main hall. Great views of the two seas!
Kajetan D (13 months ago)
Very picturesque castle with an unexpected surprise - art installation made out of shattered mirrors on the floor. Castle itself isn't big, it's more like an military fortress with a lighthouse on top of it. No queue to ticket office, clean toilet on site and you can hide from the heat in here as well.
Caleb Reed (14 months ago)
Tickets are 7€ for adults. The castle is fairly open for walking around. The great room is well preserved and demonstrates great size and architecture. The cannon emplacements provide views of the ocean and coastline. Water closet was broken/closed when I visited.
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