Castel Nuovo (male Angevin)-Naples

Maschio Angioino

The Castel Nuovo, more known as male Angevin, is located between Piazza Municipio, the port and Piazza Plebiscito. Today the structure belongs to the municipality of Naples.                     

From the beginning it was called "Castrum Novum" to distinguish it from the oldest ones: Castel dell ' Ovo and Castel Capuano.

After being brought back from restorations to its fifteenth-century form, Castel Nuovo now has a trapezoidal plant, characterized by the corners by powerful embattled cylindrical towers, four of the Piper and one of tuff, in turn reinforced at the base by false Slings (outer belts, low, which allow the doubling of the defensive pull).
The area of the courtyard, which follows the Angevin, is made up of Catalan elements such as the arcade with low arches and the external staircase in the piper that leads to the Sala dei Baroni; It gives this corner of the court the characteristic aspect of the Spanish patios

The main façade is located on the west side and includes three towers: on the left the Tower of the Guard, in the center of the Middle Tower and on the right the Torre di San Giorgio.

Between the Torre di Mezzo and the Watchtower, to celebrate the victorious entrance of Alfonso I of Aragon in the city of Naples, a grandiose marble triumphal arch was erected, made towards 1452 on a drawing by Francesco Lovran, with the contribution of various artists.
The monumental entrance is certainly one of the most remarkable artistic expressions of the renaissance of the entire Mezzogiorno: It consists of two overlapping arches, framed by columns and surmounted by attics rich in statues and reliefs, culminating In the precious crowning bezel.

Below the lower arch is the portal that, topped with a bas-relief with the coronation of Alfonso I, enters a vestibule from the vault, from which you enter the Courtyard quadrilateral.

In front of the entrance is the church of Santa Barbara, with a renaissance portal adorned by a Madonna of Francesco Lovran of 1471 and a rose window perforated. An external staircase then leads to the hall of the barons covered by a beautiful starry vault with ribs and a magnificent fireplace.

On the sea side the castle is characterized by the great tower of Beverello, as well as the external wall of the Sala dei Baroni, which has two Guelph cross windows, from the high apse of the Palatine chapel, inserted between two turrets, from two loggias carved between the Four and five hundred and from the Ovo tower.

The construction of the new Castel began in 1279, under the reign of Charles I of Anjou, on a project of the French architect Pierre de Chaue.

Castel Nuovo became the centre of the city and the southern Kingdom, welcoming the estates of the Dukes of Durres, the princes of Taranto and the whole court. The Angevin male was frequented by eminent personages: He welcomed Pope Celestino V, who stayed there until the abdication and hosted the conclave for the election of the next pontiff, Boniface VIII.

During the reign of Robert of Anjou the castle became a centre of culture where artists, doctors and literati were staying, including Petrarch, Boccaccio and Giotto, who in 1332 was called by the king to fresco the Palatine Chapel.

The anjous succeeded the Aragonese who initiated the restoration of Castel Nuovo, entrusted by King Alfonso of Aragon, who had fixed it, like the predecessors, his royal abode, to the Catalan architect Guillem. These redesigned almost totally the plan of the building providing of an irregular trapezoidal plant and transformed the towers, which had a square plan, in a circular plan and the playeds in the Piper.  The festival also designed some loggias along the main façade and along the right side of the Neapolitan fortress. His is the project of the Sala dei Baroni.
Also the ornamental interventions of Bartolomeo Prats, Antonio Frabuch and Antonio Gomar impressed the interiors of the castle atmospheres of Catalan tradition.

With the Aragonese we pass from the medieval castle-palace to the fortress of modern Age, adapted to the new demands of war; The area around the castle loses the residential character that it had with the Angevin.
The structure of the Aragonese construction is certainly more massive than the Angevin and reflects quite faithfully the current one, stemming from the renovation work of the early twentieth century.

At the end of the fifteenth century the French came to the Aragonese; This presence did not last for a long time, as the French were replaced by the Spanish and Austrian viceroys in turn. During the viceregal period (1503-1734), the defensive structures of the castle, used as a purely military use, were further modified.

With the advent of Charles III of Bourbon who defeated Emperor Charles VI in 1734, the castle was surrounded in various eras by factories of all kinds, depots and dwellings.

For its symbolic value Castel Nuovo was sacked during the revolution of the Neapolitan Republic of 1799.

With the unification of Italy The outer rampart was demolished.

At present the monumental complex is destined to a cultural use and is, among other things, home of the Civic Museum. The museum itinerary is divided between the Armoury Hall, the Palatine Chapel or Santa Barbara, the first and second floor of the southern Curtain, to which are added the Sala Carlo V and the hall of the Loggia intended to host exhibitions and cultural initiatives.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 19.00

Note. The ticket office closes at 18.00 a.m.

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