Castle of Charles V

Lecce, Italy

The Castle of Charles V was first built in the Middle Ages, and was strengthened by Charles V in 1539, to a design by the architect Gian Giacomo dell’Acaya. To build this fortress two constructions were pulled down: the Chapel of the Trinity and the Monastery of the Benedictine Order of the Saint Cross.

The castle did not have only defensive functions, in the 18th century one of its rooms was used as a theatre. From 1870 to 1979 it was used as military district. Nowadays it is the seat of the Cultural Affairs of the township of Lecce, a backdrop for many cultural initiatives.

Visitors can remain charmed with the delicate ornaments of the interiors: the capitals and the decorated big room, with imposing big stained glass windows. The rooms of the upstairs are sustained by imposing stone columns. There is a legend linked with this castle: it tells that the family which owned this castle in the 14th century, the Orsini del Balzo family, kept a white bear in the moat of the castle. This animal was a status symbol and, at the same time, it scared prowlers.



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Via XXV Luglio 32, Lecce, Italy
See all sites in Lecce


Founded: 1539
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sanna GRAY (2 months ago)
Beautifully maintained, a great moment in time. Take time to visit and learn a bit of our past.
Stephen Kelley (8 months ago)
Very interesting site from what we could see of it, but the majority is off-limits unless you're participating in one of their tours, and the next English tour with availability was days away. Worth a free walk-through of the open areas, but wish we'd seen more.
Rick Whittington (8 months ago)
Just did the paid tour of Castello, amphitheatre & arena (with Roberta as our guide), we found her tour enjoyable and good value. Having the opportunity to enter areas that the public cannot and hearing from our knowledgeable guide extra stories and historical information was great. Would recommend.
Katrina Macneill (2 years ago)
It was pleasant enough to walk about and the guide offered up some interesting facts. Surprised the the views from the top of the walls were a little overlooked and you couldn't see the panarama you may be expecting. The dungeons were fascinating and so very well preserved. Personally I'm not hugely into old buildings or castles and I'd say it's worth a visit! Plus, they have a very beautiful cat in the grounds... reason enough to check it out!
Martijn Vermast (2 years ago)
Totally overpriced. You pay 8 euros to see the first floor (a few nicely renovated, but rather empty rooms, and there was a photo exhibition). But apparently you have to buy an extra ticket to see the rest of the castle. Renovation works were still going on, so it all didn't look very appealing. Skip it.
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