Aragonese Castle

Ischia, Italy

Aragonese Castle stands on a volcanic rocky islet that connects to the larger island of Ischia by a causeway (Ponte Aragonese).

The Aragonese Castle is the most impressive historical monument in Ischia, built by Hiero I of Syracuse in 474 BC. At the same time, two towers were built to control enemy fleets' movements. The rock was then occupied by Parthenopeans (the ancient inhabitants of Naples). In 326 BC the fortress was captured by Romans, and then again by the Parthenopeans. In 1441 Alfonso V of Aragon connected the rock to the island with a stone bridge instead of the prior wood bridge, and fortified the walls in order to defend the inhabitants against the raids of pirates.

Around 1700, about 2000 families lived on the islet, including a Poor Clares convent, an abbey of Basilian monks (of the Greek Orthodox Church), the bishop and the seminar, the prince with a military garrison. There were also thirteen churches. In 1809, the British troops laid siege to the island, then under the French command, and shelled it to almost complete destruction. In 1912, the Castle was sold to a private owner. Today the castle is the most visited monument of the island.

It is accessed through a tunnel with large openings which let the light enter. Along the tunnel there is a small chapel consecrated to John Joseph of the Cross (San Giovan Giuseppe della Croce), the patron saint of the island. A more comfortable access is also possible with a modern lift. After arriving outside, it is possible to visit the Church of the Immacolata and the Cathedral of Assunta. The first was built in 1737 on the location of a smaller chapel dedicated to Saint Francis, and closed after the suppression of Convents in 1806 as well as the nunnery of the Clarisses.

The Aragonese Castle of the Ischia is open all year round, every day of the week, from 9am till sunset.

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Address

Ponte Aragonese, Ischia, Italy
See all sites in Ischia

Details

Founded: 474 BCE
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Matúš Šenšel (15 months ago)
Castle in private hands. Very nice kept. Fantastic views of Ischia and the whole bay, nice cafes, art shop and a gallery in one. Worth the money.
Bonnie Chung (15 months ago)
Great view of Ischia and the castle is amazing. There wasn't as much tourist as I thought there would be, but there were field trips. Still. Not crowded and would go again.
Jack P. (15 months ago)
The castle offers beautiful panoramic views on a clear day. Tickets cost €10 and they only accept cash. To avoid the small elevator, walk directly from the ticket booth away from the hallway that leads to the elevator and you can take a walk path all the way up to the top. the elevator only allows 6 people at a time, and a line can develop on busy days. The walk is not strenuous, but involves many stairs. Wear comfortable shoes and wear sunblock. Highly recommend visiting the cafe at the top of the castle.
Camila Masetti (16 months ago)
Thought for seniors. Elevator, places to sit and rest, toilets. You can spend the afternoon with comfort. Great view. Great gardens. A must see.
Chris Hellowell (16 months ago)
Fantastic place full of 1000 years of history. Be aware there is a lot of steps involved. However you can access most things quite easily. There is a lift to help get you most of the way up. We didn't use that but just took our time. Great 4 hours spent here. Lovely coffee bar.
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