Castelvecchio

Verona, Italy

Castelvecchio ('Old Castle') is the most important military construction of the Scaliger dynasty that ruled the city in the Middle Ages. The castle stands on the probable location of a Roman fortress outside the Roman city. Lord Cangrande II della Scala had it built along with its bridge across the Adige River as a deterrent to his powerful neighbors such as Venice, the Gonzaga and the Sforza families. Construction was carried out between 1354 and 1376 (Cangrande died in 1359). The fortified bridge was intended to allow the seigniors to escape safely northwards to the Tyrol in the event of a rebellion or a coup d'état (the Scaligeri were allies of the Holy Roman Empire) and when they eventually lost their hold on Verona, its surviving members left Italy to found a German branch of the family.

Later, during the Venetian domination, slits were added to defend it with cannons. The castle was damaged by French troops during the Napoleonic Wars (1796-7), in retaliation to the Pasque Veronesi, when the local population staged a violent anti-French revolt. Napoleon had chosen to stay in Castelvecchio on his trips to Verona, but his widespread and arbitrary requisitions of citizens' and churches' property, the massive draft of male workers into the French army prompted the resistance that eventually drove out the invaders.

Under the Austrians, Castelvecchio was turned into barracks. In 1923 the castle was restored, as well as in 1963-1965.

The castle is powerful and compact in its size with very little decoration - one square compound built in red bricks, one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture of the age, with imposing M-shaped merlons running along the castle and bridge walls. It has seven towers, a superelevated keep with four main buildings inside. The castle is surrounded by a ditch, now dry, which was once filled with waters from the nearby Adige.

Castelvecchio is now home to the Castelvecchio Museum and the local officer's club.

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Address

Ponte Scaligero, Verona, Italy
See all sites in Verona

Details

Founded: 1354
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

erika mancini (7 months ago)
Beautiful medieval castle and museum. Went with kids they loved it!
Roy Timberman (7 months ago)
I am usually not into museums but this place is awesome. It doesn't have that typical museum look and feel. Instead, you can actually visualize what it must have been like running around in there back many years ago. Highly recommend visiting.
NuxaS (8 months ago)
zelo lep ambient. vse je čisto in obljudeno. pozitivna energija je povsod. zelo navdušen. priporočam!!! google translate : 103/5000 очень хорошая атмосфера. Все чисто и хитро. положительная энергия везде. очень восторженно Я рекомендую !!! ochen' khoroshaya atmosfera. Vse chisto i khitro. polozhitel'naya energiya vezde. ochen' vostorzhenno YA rekomenduyu !!! very nice ambience. Everything is clean and cunning. positive energy is everywhere. very enthusiastic. I recommend!!! ambiente molto bello. Tutto è pulito e astuto. l'energia positiva è ovunque. molto entusiasta. Mi raccomando !!!
Trinidad Gelos (8 months ago)
Really good place. The massive structure of this Castle is what motivates you to go in. Good to take a walk through the bridge and take some pics. Also there are tours that can be taken.
Carlos Burgos (10 months ago)
Me and my girlfriend walked in here and we still aren't sure if we had to pay. Lots of cool paintings and statues. The courtyards were very nice and the roof top view was amazing.
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