Castle of Charles V

Crotone, Italy

The Crotone castle, commonly called the Castle of Charles V, was created on the ancient Greek settlement. The spurred bulk of the manor is a unique kind when we speak about medieval and Renaissance fortresses because it highlights the historical development of military architecture from the pouncing defence (towers) to the grazing defence (ramparts). It is also the only example of a castle perched not on the top of a hill, but around a hill that it embraces and contains.

With the conquest by the Normans, the fort became one of the 75 castles that at the time existed in the lands registry of Roger II’s vassals. It was accessed through the current Piazza Castello, thanks to a partly fixed stone bridge and partly wooden drawbridge. The main door was inserted into a truncated pyramidal terrace overlooking the courtyards between the two entry towers, the bridge and the moat.

Thanks to the strategic location of the city, with the arrival of Frederick II the castle was restored, along with the city port. The housing of the defensive structure was entrusted to Giordano Ruffo di Calabria’s nephew, who took care of his stables.      

Even the Angevins were careful to maintain it to the point that, between 1270 and 1271, ordered the various landowners to provide for the cost of repair of the castle towers. Something similar happened about 200 years later when Alfonso of Aragon let the city use the arrear taxes for the restoration of the castle walls. Historical stratifications In 500 the old building was subject to major repair works, which lasted about a century and they modified its look: two of the ancient towers were incorporated in cylindrical great towers and the pentagonal plant was cut into a square. Numerous military engineers followed at the works management, which also used the ruins of the ancient Greek city.

With the improvement of war weapons, the castle lost its strategic-military importance and during the nineteenth century it was partially dismantled at the top also as a result of damage caused by frequent earthquakes. Today it houses a Civic Museum of archaeological interest. The Commander and the Adjutant Currently, the castle has a polygonal plant, and two towers: a more massive one called “Tower of the Adjutant”, and another called “Tower of the Commander.” The first was used as a residence of the officers, while the second was a great place of observation: armed with four cannons, it stood inside the castle, in the higher central part.


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Founded: c. 840 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yurii Pylypenko (2 years ago)
Nothing to see
Fabian Richter (2 years ago)
The castle is closed PERMENANTLY... no information on why or how long... park around it smells of urin and is in a disgusting state. Not worth the visit.
Iain Fraser (3 years ago)
Very interesting history of region, worth seeing
mike wolers (3 years ago)
The only spot worth seeing in Crotone if it wouldn’t be closed most of the time! I wouldn’t even recommend to try walking around on the outside since it seems to be the preferred spot for the local dogs ? Disappointing!
Gianluca Scerra (3 years ago)
Ancient and beautiful castel, but dismissed.
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