Bari Swabian Castle

Bari, Italy

The Castello Svevo or Swabian Castle (Castello normanno-svevo), also known as the Houhenstaufen Castle, is a castle in the Apulian city of Bari.

Probably built in 1132 by Norman King Roger II, it was destroyed in 1156 by king William I of Sicily and rebuilt and reinforced in 1233 by the Holy Roman emperor Fredrick II. During the Angevin domination, it went through several transformation, and after being acquired by Duke Ferdinand of Aragon, was donated to the Sforza family and passed to Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland. After Bona's death, it was returned under the King of Naples and transformed into a prison and barracks.

The castle is surrounded by a moat on all sides, except the northern section, which was bordering the sea and can be accessed from the bridge and the gate on the southern side. It is mainly composed of the Aragon walls and the main Hohenstaufen tower, and is currently used for exhibitions.

According to the tradition, in 1221 Emperor Frederick II met St. Francis of Assisi in this castle. According to tradition, the emperor had a courtesan sent to Francis's room and watched through a peephole to see what would happen. When Francis sent the woman away, Frederick was impressed with his principles; the two spent the rest of the night in conversation. This story is not confirmed beyond doubt, but it is considered believable.

The castle it is currently used for exhibitions.



Your name


Founded: 1132
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

davide masi (3 years ago)
Terrible experience. 6 euro to get it and the portion accessible to visitors is minimal. Only a few rooms are open, the wall is not accessible and in the price is not inven included a guided tour. Also, the staff seems to be able to park their cars in the ground of the castle despite there are plenty of spaces in the streets just outside it.....only in Italy
Teodora Perieteanu (3 years ago)
Nice place, worth visiting when in Bari. The castle and the museum are free of charge, you can visit it by booking on the app.
Ahmed Dakroury (3 years ago)
No reception help, I understand it maybe bcuz of the pandemic, but at least leave some helpful notes for tourists! And the app is so user unfriendly.
necrosyther (3 years ago)
Very nice fort/castle. Contained great display halls of historic items. Would have been nice to be able to visit more of the castle and go on the walls. The area's you are able to visit are very limited. Was good for a free thing to do, but if I had paid I'd be unhappy with the amount of castle on show.
Porcu Raffaele (3 years ago)
The Bari castle, very very good! He is a caste with many sculpture and storic object Start at 600 a.c (don't sure). Impressively!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors) is an outdoor and indoor history museum. It is located on Niederkirchnerstrasse, formerly Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, on the site of buildings which during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era.

The buildings that housed the Gestapo and SS headquarters were largely destroyed by Allied bombing during early 1945 and the ruins demolished after the war. The boundary between the American and Soviet zones of occupation in Berlin ran along the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, so the street soon became a fortified boundary, and the Berlin Wall ran along the south side of the street, renamed Niederkirchnerstrasse, from 1961 to 1989. The wall here was never demolished.