Castel Nuovo which literally means New Castle is a grand medieval castle in the city of Naples. Castle Nuovo is regarded as the heritage symbol of the city and is a must see place during your Naples tour itinerary. This stupendous edifice looks commanding even from far way as you approach towards the city and is almost as old as the city itself. Apart from the mesmerizing architectural brilliance of this imposing structure which is also called Maschio Angioino the civic museum inside the castle holds a great collection of medieval and renaissance period artworks comprising some of the best known sculptures and paintings.
When Carlo I d’Anjou became the king, the capital of the kingdom of Naples was shifted from Palermo to Naples. In 1279 the King ordered a new Castle near the sea to house his court as well as for centering his administrative and political activities. Though Castle Nuovo was built in 1279 it remained vacant and largely uninhabited because of the then war of the Sicilian Vespers. In 1285 formerly the Castle began to be inhabited by the Royals and in the same year Charles II succeeded the throne after the death of his father. From then for centuries it served as the nucleus of the city’s political and cultural life. With the changes in the royal power and political turmoil the castle passed through many royal inhabitants and monarchs and several times the castle has been renovated and restored in the direction of different royal patronages.
What To See?
Castle Nuovo is one of the finest examples of castle palace architectural tradition belonging to an early renaissance period. From external views it appears as a gigantic fortress of medieval time that used to be built mainly for military reasons. But as you enter through the stupendous façade and continue to revel at the delicate palatial décor all around, you begin to realize that it is a grand royal residence in its own right as well.
The impressive torre di guardia or watch towers and torre di mezzo or halfway towers and the imposing triumphal arch make this architectural marvel a delight to see. Besides this architectural achievement of the castle it is also home to a great collection of artworks and historic objects from the preceding rulers of royal heritage. The Museo Civico or civic museum inside the castle displays important artworks collected from other Naples monuments as well and is a must see destination for travelers during their Naples holidays.
A great selection of fourteenth and fifteenth century sculptures including the famous ‘Tabernacle’ by Domenico Gagini and two ‘Madonna with Child’ by Francesco Laurana is a special attraction. Throughout the other rooms you will find an impressive collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century paintings by Italian masters including that of Luca Giordano and Francesco Solimena. Standing inside the castle looking over the blue bay water of Naples is a marvelous experience.
How To Get There?
By bus or by funiculars stop at Augesteo stop and walk a few minutes up to the site. Alternatively you can take the Line 1 tram and get down at Piazza Municipio or you can take the Metro line 1 and get down at the Toledo stop and take a stroll for a few minutes.
Timing And Tickets
The museum remains open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm and ticket counters close one hour earlier. A ticket to the Castle and the museum costs E 5 per person.