Ursino Castle

Catania, Italy

Castello Ursino was built between 1239 and 1250, as one of the royal castles of Emperor Frederick II, King of Sicily. In 1295, during the Sicilian Vespers, the Parliament which declared deposed James II of Aragon as King of Sicily, replacing him with Frederick III, was held here. The following year it was captured by Robert of Anjou but was later again in Aragonese hands.

After the move of the capital away from Catania and the appearance of powder weapons, the castle lost its military role and was used as a prison. It is one of the few buildings in Catania to have survived the earthquake of 1693.

The castle was acquired by the city of Catania in 1932, and it was restored. The Museo civico opened in the restored castle on 20 October 1934. Today, the museum houses artifacts and artwork from the castle as well as the greater geographical area. These items date from the Classical era onward, representing the diverse influences throughout Sicilian history. Frequently, the castle hosts also temporary exhibitions or artistic events (theatrical representations and concerts).

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Details

Founded: 1239-1250
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sebastian Rosch (4 months ago)
Well preserved castle turned into a museum. Local exhibits from the area. I didn’t find too many interesting things, I was hoping for more historical context of the city and region.
Jan Strach (4 months ago)
I came to visit on weekend but during the Corona time there was no waiting time. The castle is in very good condition. Most of the information in italian. It is a museum now where you can understand a bit the history of Catania throughout the centuries.
alessandro ninfa (5 months ago)
The Place could be amazing but a lot still needs to be done. Kids are around the building running with scooters and more police should be there. It doesn't look really safe.
Antonino Damiano Leontini (5 months ago)
Beautiful castle in the center of a grey city completely without trees and full of pollution/garbage. Milestone with a lot of good place to drink/eat around. Must visit.
Joshua Formentera (5 months ago)
I've always find old Castles fascinating and their architecture and history! This place is great to see particularly if you follow the trail of history of this place. Amazing. Inside there are interesting thing you'll inside of the castle specially the high vaulted ceilings, great old beautiful paintings and old greek letters written on the stones and pottery. This place is good for children and most of them free entrance. There is a great view of outside on the top of the castle. The entrance was 10 euros for adult.
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