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Italy: Castello Sforzesco

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Castello Sforzesco | Italy | Europe

[Visited: September 2005 and several times before]

The Castello Sforzesco is a real castle right in downtown Milan. Walking distance from sights like the Cathedral, this castle has all the characteristics of a real castle. There are towers, drawing bridges, moats, and even treasures inside. The castle was first built in the 14th century, and it was destructed several times since, by both invaders and the Milanese themselves. In 1450, Francesco Sforza became duke of Milan, he rebuilt the castle and saved it, and it took his name. It was rebuilt after every destruction ever since, sometimes by foreign rulers. Napoleon was among the rulers who conquered the castle. The last great renovation was at the turn of the 20th century, when architect Luca Beltrami restored the castle to its former glory.

Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Castello Sforzesco: tower reflected in a lake in the adjacent Sempione park

After the Castello Sforzesco was restored to its present glory, its function changed to a distinct landmark of the city of Milan. It also assumed a cultural function and nowadays actually houses several museums with sculptures, paintings, frescoes, and exhibitions on display. From a symbol of tyrrany, the Castle evolved into a remarkable full-fledged castle right in the heart of Italy's second largest city where people can easily visit an old castle, see how dukes lived centuries ago, visit the exhibitions, but also come to relax.

Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Filarete rising above a saint inside the Castell Sforzesco

Right in front of the Castello Sforzesco, on the city side, is a fountain on the Piazza Castello or Castle Square, adding to the air of importance that the castle assumes when coming from the city. Its silhouet certainly stands out of the living neighbourhood. You can enter the Castle through the main entrance of course, but also through one of several side entrances - you always have to cross the moat over a bridge. After a visit to the park, you can walk right on to the backside, where the Sempione Park, one of the biggest of Milan, allows for a pleasant stroll, having a snack, or just lie in the grass. Nothing compared to the battles that have been fought over the Castello Sforzesco.

Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Climbing plants growing on the walls of Castello Sforzesco
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Filarete tower seen from within the Castello Sforzesco walls
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Filarete, the central tower of the Castello Sforzesco, seen from outside
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): One of the cylindrical towers of Castello Sforzesco
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Castello Sforzesco: one of the round towers
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Saint in front of the inner tower of Castello Sforzesco
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Castello Sforzesco: Filarete seen through the fountain on the Piazza Castello
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Castle reflected in castle: Castello Sforzesco seen in its own windows
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Castello Sforzesco: one of the walls reflected in a pond
Picture of Castello Sforzesco (Italy): Filarete tower seen through the fountain in front of Castello Sforzesco

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