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

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Diego Andrade (7 months ago)
This place is packed with history. After the nuns inherited this place they did the weirdest things with the corpses of the deceased nuns. If you look it up, your in for a surprise. You can have a 360 panoramic view and see the gulf of Naples, Capri and the Mediterranean of course. Wow!
Allthehygge Youcanfind (8 months ago)
It's a great place for getting some spectacular views of the island. If the summer heat gets too intense the bar located in the castle offers some good refreshments too. I wouldn't think of it as the most interesting castle to visit, but it does offer some good exercise and something to do if you have some time to spend there. P.S. Invest in some good shoes; you have plenty of stairs to take..
Pancakes Versus (9 months ago)
Pretty impressive old castle upon entrance, the views from the early points are spectacular (but then you can see them without paying to enter, elsewhere around the castle), but there is no mention of the lift AND terrace cafe being closed... you’re left to discover this having climbed up to the heavens. The opening hours of the restaurant were edited by the business a few weeks ago on Google - they’re completely wrong though.
Leonardo Pasquinotti (11 months ago)
Amazing. For 12€ (students 10€) you can have a entire visit of one of the most beautiful castle in the world. History, art, culture, everything. Best attraction in Ischia
Stephanie Camello (12 months ago)
A really great place to tour and learn so much history about medieval times and why this island and castle were put here in the first place! You can walk across the bridge from the port and climb a bunch of steps up to the castle. It is kept up really well and the tour guides speak English very well and provide pamphlets and so much info. Great place to spend half a day and when you get back to the Ischia port, you can enjoy authentic Italian food and gelato!
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